Responding is a permanent public artwork by Robbie Rowlands for the Great Victorian Rail Trail Art Installations Project. The $1.2M project, funded by the State Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund, is a joint project between Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield Shire Councils which aims to increase trail usage by attracting visitors to the region and providing local economic benefit. It features seven large artworks and a series of smaller works along the length of the 134 km rail trail.
“The inspiration for Responding was, in part, drawn from my long running interest in sculpturally recomposing our built environment. The rail trail set a perfect staging for an unexpected encounter. In my doubtful moments, the foreignness of this form (a 39m phone tower) set in this landscape concerned me. Once installed these doubts subsided. As you follow the trail, cutting through open fields and bushland, the experience of the steely sweep of the pole crossing over the path draws a relationship to the outstretched arms of historic gums and the field grasses. At the age of 9, I travelled this same route by steam with my father and brother to commemorate its closing. There is a subtle echoing of this industrial past in the material and the tempo of cuts (sleepers, sonic sound of steel on steel). The emphasis for me was on the graceful sweep of the form finding a gentle balance in this landscape.”
Visit the GVRT website.
Images courtesy of Nigel Karikari.