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Metro Tunnel

Creative Program at State Library Station

'Metropolitan Tiles' by Katy Smits, 2019

Artist statement

“I wanted to create a bold and graphic pattern based on the environment surrounding the site. I took close up photos of various architectural elements from the Melbourne City Baths, RMIT buildings and the Old Melbourne Gaol. I then drew on top of these images in colours taken from the locations and created a series of motifs and elements to use in the designs.

I took a lot of inspiration from Mediterranean tiles when creating the designs. I really enjoy the bright range of colours they use, the various layouts and possibilities created from such simple shapes. I started brainstorming with rough sketches and eventually moved into Adobe Illustrator to further develop and experiment with scale, shape and transition. I thought a tile pattern would work really well within the location, with its simple but bold repeat and would be a fun and interesting way to combine all the motifs in a way that made sense of the location.”

About the artist

Katy is a year 2 student with the Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) program at RMIT. Her works feature elements of her surroundings interpreted through a variety of bold shapes and bright colours.

RMIT School of Fashion & Textiles, Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design)

The School of Fashion & Textiles brings together Design, Technology and Enterprise. The focus of the Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) program is textile structures, surfaces, patterns, materiality and their relationship with bodies, spaces and experiences. Textile designers are inquisitive, sensory and driven by solution seeking within a broad range of textile industries and design practices.

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RMIT Open Day – Student artwork

For the 2019 Open Day, the Metro Tunnel Creative Program showcased student artwork on the construction hoardings around RMIT.

The series of images represented the breadth of practice across the School of Art including; fine art, craft, photography and art in public space.

The School of Art at RMIT is an international site for innovative and diverse art, craft and photographic practices and research.

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'Benim Wile: To cover over with possum blanket' by Kelly Koumalatsos, 2019

This work is based on Kelly’s original artwork that won the Metro Tunnel Creative Program 2D Award at Koorie Heritage Trust as part of the 2018 Koorie Art Show.

The artworks presented here are adaptions of her award-winning artwork, Benim Wile: To cover over with possum blanket, which draws on the imagery of stitched possum pelts to create imaginary blankets which are now metaphorically covering parts of the city.

About the artist

Kelly is an important visual artist working in regional Victoria. Her arts practice explores various aspects of both her Aboriginal (Wergaia/Wemba Wemba) and Greek heritage.

Kelly has been working with possum skins and possum skin imagery in her artworks for many years. From her early work recreating real possum skin cloaks, to her more recent artworks using screen printing and digital imagery of possum fur, working with the imagery of possum fur in her printmaking and installation artworks has allowed Kelly to reconnect and reclaim aspects of her Indigenous heritage.

Kelly’s artistic practice has drawn on research into historic photographic images of Koorie people from across Victoria wearing possum skin cloaks. Possum skin cloaks had a very important role in traditional Aboriginal societies, as both a means of keeping dry and warm, but also as an important cultural item, often incorporating imagery and markings of cultural significance, and handed down within families over generations.

Photography by James Henry

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‘Transport paintings’ by Miles Howard-Wilks, 2019

These artworks of reimagined landscapes selected for the Metro Tunnel Creative Program are typical of Miles Howard-Wilks' art practice. An avid public transport user and a keen observer and lover of Melbourne, public transport and magpies, Miles has created a series of slightly surreal landscapes that pay homage to Australian flora and fauna as well as Victorian landmarks and infrastructure. After travelling by train, tram or on foot, Miles returns to the studio and paints his land and seascapes from memory.

About the artist

Miles Howard-Wilks is a multi-disciplinary artist, specialising in painting, ceramics, photography and digital art.

He has worked in the studio at Arts Project Australia since 2000 and has had several solo exhibitions andbeen in numerous group shows.

His work is held in a number of public and private collections including National Gallery of Australia (NGA), National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and in the City of Melbourne’s collection.

Arts Project Australia is a leading studio and gallery supporting artists with an intellectual disability, promoting their work and advocating for their inclusion in contemporary art practice. Based in Melbourne, they are known globally as an innovative centre for excellence.

APA artists have been included in exhibitions all over the world and are represented in countless public and private collections.

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'The marks' by Paola Ibarra, 2019

Artist statement

“In this work, I have invited the public to collaborate and create the art together. First, I took pictures of the people in the area, then I drew the body outlines onto wooden panel structures and finally, I took these panels to the public spaces near the site, inviting people to add tape by following three guidelines: do not cross existing lines, lines should be straight and create open lines or designs. Over six days, 180 people participated in creating the work.”

About the artist

Paola Ibarra is an artist from Mexico who has worked mostly across Mexico City, Beijing and Melbourne, where she studied her Master of Arts in Public Space at RMIT. Her works are temporary and participatory installations in public spaces, using a range of colourful material such as tape, paint, and recycled materials.

Instagram: @paolaibarraart

The RMIT School of Art is known for its diverse and internationally-renowned creative programs led by accomplished artists, photographers and professional staff who strive for excellence in pedagogy, research and innovation.

Photography by Nicole Reed

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Josh X Muir

The Metro Tunnel Creative Program was the Major Sponsor of JOSH X MUIR, a solo exhibition by Ballarat based Yorta Yorta/ Gunditjmara multi-media artist Josh Muir, presented by the Koorie Heritage Trust in November 2018.

The artworks on these hoardings are from the exhibition which is a continuation of the artist’s journey of self-exploration in which he surprises and confounds with his colourful and chaotic digital prints on aluminium, reflecting contemporary street and pop art (including a homage to the American artist KAWS who himself began as a graffiti artist) but incorporating imagery from his own Aboriginal heritage and strong sense of place and community.

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Collage by Beci Orpin

This artwork is a large-scale collage that features papers treated with a variety of materials – inks, gouache, acrylics, pastels, colour pencils and watercolour.

Each piece has been included for a reason: its colour, shape, texture or its connection to the site on which it appears. Architecture, local history, culture and indigenous flora are echoed within the collage in both abstract and more obvious form. The combination of old and new, made and found, reflect the growth and depth of Melbourne as a city.

The collage is designed to continually surprise the viewer – especially those who pass by often and can discover something new each time. The overall look is modern and colourful, but on closer observation the viewer will see the historical context.

About the artist

Beci Orpin is a local creative practitioner in Melbourne, Australia. Her work occupies a space between illustration, design and craft. Beci has run a freelance studio for over 20 years, catering to a wide range of clients, as well as exhibiting her work both locally and internationally. Beci’s work is described as colourful, graphic, bold, feminine and dream-like.

Beci Orpin's artwork at CBD North