Shadow Trees 2014
painted and fabricated mild steel
Dimensions (H x W x D)
1200 cm (height)
Commissioned by VicUrban as part of the Melbourne Docklands Urban Art Program, 2014
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
Location: Buluk Park and Library at The Dock, where Bourke and Collins Sts meet, Victoria Harbour, Docklands
'Shadow Trees' is an assemblage construction of painted and fabricated mild steel, with plasma-cut silhouette elements, bolts and structural elements. The work casts shadows within its structure, creating complex imagery in which there is always something new to discover. The form of the tree resonantes with the site; there are imaginative connections to the library and to the passing parade of workers and residents in Victoria Harbour. 'The imagery for the "Shadow Trees" connects the natural world with a cultural world and the everyday – with ideas and images resonant in the "tree of life", the "tree house" and the "family tree",' explains Smart. The beautiful text by Maria Tumarkin, engraved in the bluestone paving under the tree, reinforces connections to the library.
The work also nods to Victoria Harbour’s past, both precolonial, as a place with abundant plant and bird life, and postcolonial, as a working dock. 'The cut-out painted silhouette elements and text are open to interpretation, drawing on references from the site’s history, biology, botany, habitation, movement and language,' says Smart.