First Nations artworks to feature at Metro Tunnel’s eastern entrance in South Yarra
Two Victorian First Nations artists will create permanent works for the Metro Tunnel’s eastern entrance in South Yarra, as part of the project’s Legacy Artwork Program.
The artists, Aunty Kim Wandin and Kent Morris, were selected following an expressions of interest campaign in 2022, which sought artworks that connect people to the area’s cultural heritage.
Most of the sculptures will sit in the South Yarra Siding Reserve, which will reopen to the public this year with new landscaping, seating and art. Some of Wandin’s work will also be located nearby in Arthur St.
Wandin’s Murrup Biik, in collaboration with artist Christine Joy, honours the location of a significant Aboriginal cultural site as a series of string bags traditionally known as Bilangs.
The Bilangs acknowledge the journey of Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung women across Country, and the work of women collecting food to provide for families and as Custodians of the land.
Wandin said the sculptures offered a unique experience to both passers-by and those standing fully in their presence.
“Marrup Biik aims to create a sense of intrigue and transformative healing,” Wandin said. “There will be an energetic exchange of giving and understanding.”
Kent Morris’ Where We Walk was inspired by the significant flaked stone artefacts uncovered at South Yarra Siding Reserve, which speak to its long connection with the Wurundjeri people.
It aims to increase First Peoples cultural representation in the reserve as a cultural marker of respect, connection, and knowledge.
Morris hopes the work will inspire the public to open their hearts and minds, look and listen deeply on their journey through the reserve, and embrace the knowledge embedded in Country.
“My art transforms the built environment and nature into new forms that reflect First Nations knowledge systems reshaping western frameworks, exploring complex histories and First Nations cultural continuity since time immemorial,” Morris said.
The Metro Tunnel will include individual artworks at each of the new stations and the tunnel entrances, as well as a line-wide artwork that will span all five stations.
Construction is progressing well on the project’s twin tunnels and five new stations, which will open in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule. •
For more information: bigbuild.vic.gov.au/projects/metro-tunnel/community/art/legacy-artwork.