Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Shoal Fly By RIP

Shoal Fly By
(photographed in July 2011 with barrier fencing)
Fenced off in early 2011 for what were reported to be minor repairs, the public art work Shoal Fly By on the Victoria Harbour water front (in Docklands, Melbourne) has now been removed. Shadows of the base plates that attached the work to the concrete paving are all that remains. The work by Bellamo and Cat was a public art pioneer in the Docklands. It did a much better job than most of the subsequent public art works in Docklands of capturing a sense of the place. It beautifully evoked the  constant swirling wind, the scale of the space, and the seaside location.
What it didn't do so well, it seems, is stand up to the rigours of the exposed location. Despite being constructed primarily from stainless steel, it seems the welding and fixing wasn't up to the task, and parts of the work were observed to have come loose prior to it being fenced off, posing public safety concerns.
Public art archaeology.
The shadows of the base plates that once
held the work in place.