Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Gungahlin gets more public art

johnboy 26 November 2008 21

We’ve had some horrified comments in the last couple of days about the artwork being constructed in Gungahlin.

Now Jon Stanhope has announced what it is:

    ‘The Gungahlin’ is a cluster of 12 flat-topped stones, some suitable for sitting, and a larger centrally placed stone for public speaking or performances.

    Accompanying the stones are twelve vertical steel structures resembling tree trunks, standing between three and five metres high. Lighting will ensure the space can be enjoyed by residents at night.

    Created by Canberra-born artist Mr Malcolm Utley, the artwork draws inspiration from Gungahlin’s surrounding grasslands and natural rocky outcrops. The title is from the local Nungawaal language meaning ‘little rocky outcrop’.

    “Located on the southern side of Hibberson Street, the artwork will become a central point not just of the Linear Park, but of the community itself,” Chief Minister and Minister for the Arts Jon Stanhope said. “The artwork will create a communal space for residents to sit, interact and perform right in the heart of Gungahlin’s Town Centre.”

Apparently the steel structures are of a spiky disposition, causing some flighty readers to fret about punctured Gungahlinadoes.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
21 Responses to Gungahlin gets more public art
Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:19 am 27 Nov 08

The site the dirt is being taken from is a Homemaker Site. The to site is the college (not high school), library, CIT, town square, aquatic centre and Manuka/Ainslie style enclosed oval.

Hingo, we recognised the concerns you raised about severely curtailed opportunities for commercial explansion a while back, and as a result of our lobbying, had some 30ha of land earmarked for more townhouses converted over to C2 Business Park zone. Basically everything from Kate Crace Drv to the existing houses at the north end of Flemington Road. Both sides.

H1NG0 H1NG0 8:07 am 27 Nov 08

Really? Of all the places to put a High School, they put it in prime real estate? Good luck with the future commercial expansion of Gungahlin. They could put a bloody school damn near anywhere.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 7:04 am 27 Nov 08

H1NG0 said :

While we are on the topic of glorious Gungahlin, why the hell have diggers been pushing mounds of dirt around for weeks on end near the Goodyear Tyre Centre? Latest tourist attraction maybe? “Come and see the largest dirt mound in the ACT!!”

I think a (High?) School is being built there.

sunshine sunshine 8:35 pm 26 Nov 08

i wish mr stanhope would STOP wasting tax payers money on these pointless pieces of artwork – they aren’t even interesting. all crap to me…oh and the one in the new prison may have to be pulled down!! waste of money

GB GB 7:09 pm 26 Nov 08

Thanks Mr Al for bringing some informative content to a discussion about public art. Hurrah!

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:28 pm 26 Nov 08

Don’t drift off course when parachuting near Gungahlin!

LOL yeah that probably wasn’t in the risk management plan…

crabb crabb 3:07 pm 26 Nov 08

“Accidental interactions” with tall spiky metal things? Painful! Don’t drift off course when parachuting near Gungahlin!

Granny Granny 3:03 pm 26 Nov 08

Ok, Gungahlin Al, if you like it I will give it a chance.

: )

H1NG0 H1NG0 3:00 pm 26 Nov 08

How about, instead of doing this, you actually put in a Japanese garden? I’m sure for $72,000, its a feasable idea.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:53 pm 26 Nov 08

Had a good talk with Malcolm Utley the artist on site today and he explained some of his thinking in the design, which incidentally I am quite OK with, having now seen it up close. (“I dunno art, but I know what I loike”)

The rocks – like with Japanese landscaping – provide an element of earthiness, nature and permanence, in a sterile artificial environment. They are positioned to give a ‘tip of the iceberg’ impression (another Japanese technique). They represent the rocky outcrops that are characteristic around Gungahlin – with the closest being Red Hill (not THAT one) within Franklin just up the road, and there is a good resemblance. The metal spires represent tree trunks – they remind me of the burnt trunks remaining after a bushfire. There are 12 of each, which he chose as being symbolic of the human calendar.

A good aspect is that the heavy metal and granite stone will be virtually maintence costs free.

He explained that he’s an architect by trade but a painter and general artist, and that he has been working on this full time for the last year, and hasn’t painted anything in that time.

The total cost of the installation is $72,000, and when I can’t get a landscaper to build a decent deck outside my house for less than $8000, I can see that he isn’t making any money out of this commission. He’s even there doing all the installation work himself to try to save money. So go up and have a chat with him and make your own mind up.

The brief we gave our rep Sean on the selection committee was that we didn’t want something that is sterile and just looked at in passing, but instead something that your kids can climb on, that you can sit around on, and that basically becomes part of your movement or use of the town centre. And that it should aid “accidental interactions” between residents – to get people talking to each other, making friends, etc. I think this will do that.

In a funny twist of timing, Genevieve Jacobs from 666 rang me about had I seen the new piece? “Seen it? I’m standing on it.”
And note the cost was $20,000 less than the CMO told her it was.

mutley mutley 2:16 pm 26 Nov 08

Ah, Industrial Disease

Granny Granny 2:02 pm 26 Nov 08

I will be that protest singer!

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 1:51 pm 26 Nov 08

Spikes = phallic obsession. Putting my Psychologist hat on I would conclude that Chairman Stanhope of the Peoples Republic of Canberra is attempting to make up for other inadequacies with his tall spikey pulic art.

Or he has an ambition to be known as John the Impaler…

And as for the stones and speakers podium:

I go down to speakers corner Im thunderstruck
They got free speech, tourists, police in trucks
Two men say theyre jesus one of them must be wrong
Theres a protest singer singing a protest song …

Granny Granny 12:59 pm 26 Nov 08

I reckon Gungahlin Al should send in a drawing of the thing.

: )

H1NG0 H1NG0 12:55 pm 26 Nov 08

Thanks Stanhope for another pointless artwork. Since you love Gungahlin so much, how about giving us a couple more lanes to get home from work on the GDE. I look forward to seeing this “artwork” that few will care about, and even fewer understand. While we are on the topic of glorious Gungahlin, why the hell have diggers been pushing mounds of dirt around for weeks on end near the Goodyear Tyre Centre? Latest tourist attraction maybe? “Come and see the largest dirt mound in the ACT!!”

Granny Granny 12:31 pm 26 Nov 08

Further, spikes do not equal grass. Spikes equal war and death. Who looks at a spike and goes, “Oh, that reminds me so much of … I know … grass!” Somebody in a psychiatric ward maybe ….

Granny Granny 12:28 pm 26 Nov 08

Spikes as an architectural element do not say, “This is a safe place. You should feel warm and fuzzy. Sit for a while and relax.” This is why I have not spoken to one single person who wants it to go up there.

It will go up. We’ll get used to it. We’ll be stuck with it forever. One day we may even get attached to it. But why not give us something that people go, “Oh, how wonderful! Thanks!!” in the first place? We’re the ones who have to live with it.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:19 pm 26 Nov 08

I didn’t say that.
But I didn’t not say it either…
(I’ll wait until it’s finished, and see what sort of use it gets.

Granny Granny 12:16 pm 26 Nov 08

Oh, Gungahlin Al! You can’t like it!!

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:13 pm 26 Nov 08

Apparently the steel structures are of a spiky disposition, causing some flighty readers to fret about punctured Gungahlinadoes.

The spikes are between 3 and 5 metres up in the air, so doubt that.
On my way to meet with the artist right now actually…

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Copyright © 2020 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. | | | |

Search across the site