7 September 2023

Carey’s centenary sculpture is coming in Term 4

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Carey’s centenary sculpture is coming in Term 4
Carey’s centenary sculpture is coming in Term 4
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When our students and staff arrive back at Carey Kew after the three-week break, they may notice something big, bright and new in the gardens near the William Carey Chapel.

As a way of commemorating Carey’s centenary, and as a symbol for our community to enjoy into the future, we have commissioned Melbourne-based artist Alexander Knox to create a sculpture that celebrates Carey’s history, represents our diverse community and speaks to our current students.

Alexander is an award-winning contemporary artist widely known for producing large-scale kinetic installations and public artworks sited in many prominent locations around Melbourne, nationally and even in Shanghai, China.

According to his website, ‘Knox’s interest lies in engaging with multilayered ideas of community and place through the exploration of a site’s (often competing) histories, uses and social meanings. His works often look at ecology and natural science, social history, indigenous lore, pre and alternative histories and deep time. Knox looks for stories of place that include myth, diverse belief systems and speculative narrative exploring perception, identity and subjectivity within the public realm.’

You may be familiar with some of Alexander’s work, in particular, the AAMI Park Light Work that cloaks the stadium in a mesmerising display of 1560 LEDs (feature image). The lights are programmed to display 48 different light sequences depicting different cultural themes, including First Nations stories and language, designed in collaboration with the Wurundjeri People; sporting movements that encompass themes of team dynamics and athleticism; and music and festivals, speaking to the many functions and uses for AAMI Park.

Other public artworks of note in Melbourne include ‘Creature’, an inviting and spectacular sculpture in the Royal Children’s Hospital; ‘Ladybird’, a sculptural playground at Burwood Brickworks; and ‘Triforms’, a kinetic lightwork at 601 St Kilda Road in Melbourne, across the road from Wesley College’s St Kilda Road campus.

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'Creature', 2011, Alexander Knox
'Creature', 2011, Alexander Knox
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'Triforms', 2020, Alexander Knox
'Triforms', 2020, Alexander Knox
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'Ladybird', 2020, Alexander Knox
'Ladybird', 2020, Alexander Knox

Over the past 12 months, a committee of members from the Carey community with a demonstrated interest in art have undergone a process of engaging with and selecting our artist from a number of applications and submissions. Our public art consultant, Jane O’Neill, has highlighted how the inclusion of public sculptures in schools provides an opportunity for students to perceive, question and absorb the artwork as part of their everyday experience of the school. In turn, the artwork has the capacity to nurture students with the idea that the experience of art is part of an ongoing program of a well-balanced life. Carey’s comprehensive arts program, along with its commissioning of this public sculpture on our Kew campus, affirms the creative possibilities for students interested in pursuing career pathways in the art and design world.

We are grateful for Alexander’s work and we are honoured to be able to proudly display his art at our Kew campus. We are excited to share with you the name, artist’s statement and photos of the sculpture in the first edition of the Carey newsletter in Term 4, and we can’t wait for you all to come and see this very special artwork.

We also appreciate our partnership with the Old Carey Grammarians Association (OCGA) to deliver this public art legacy. It is fitting to have the support of the OCGA for this sculpture, as it forms a bright and engaging intersection between past, present and future.

While Carey’s centenary sculpture will be installed during the school holidays, its official unveiling ceremony will take place on Monday 13 November – more details to come.

Simon Carver
Leader of Learning – Art and Design

Feature image: 'AAMI Park Light Work', 2010, Alexander Knox

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