World-class artists to bring new Metro Tunnel stations to life

World-class artists to bring new Metro Tunnel stations to life

The Metro Tunnel’s Anzac Station on St Kilda Rd will feature a permanent large-scale artwork from esteemed Melbourne artist Raafat Ishak.

Mr Ishak will join four other world-class artists selected to create works for each Metro Tunnel underground station following a rigorous selection process by leading figures from Victoria’s creative industries.

Ishak, a multi-disciplinary artist, is Head of Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts. His work is informed by the history of painting and architecture, crossing mediums of painting, sculpture, installation and site-specific drawing.

He has been awarded a number of Australia Council grants including residency at the Cite International des Arts in Paris in 2013, and his work is held in many significant public and private collections.

Ishak will be in good company as each new underground station is set to feature a wealth of Australian and international talent.

Internationally acclaimed Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini, who represented Australia at the 50th Venice Biennale, will create a work for Parkville Station.

Other artists include Abdul Abdullah (Arden Station), Danie Mellor (State Library Station) and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Town Hall Station).

They will join Maree Clarke, a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist who will create a work bringing together all five new underground stations.

The stations’ artworks and architectural design features will become new landmarks in the cultural fabric of the city, giving Melburnians and visitors the opportunity to experience world-class art and design every day

For now, the pieces remain under development as each artist works closely with Metro Tunnel architects and engineers, ready to be revealed before the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule.

Meanwhile work on the new Anzac Station is progressing well, with the station’s signature timber canopy taking shape on St Kilda Rd.

Crews have craned in 13 timber cross beams, each weighing around 4500kg, along with 164 timber sections to form the diagonally intersecting framework that is a distinctive feature of the canopy. 

Inside the station stairs and escalators are in place and workers are fitting out mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The Metro Tunnel will create capacity for more passengers across Melbourne’s rail network and bring locals and visitors to the doorstep of iconic Melbourne institutions including the Shrine of Remembrance, NGV Australia and the Arts Centre, while easing pressure on the St Kilda Rd/Swanston St tram route – the busiest tram route in the world. •

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