Aboriginal Artwork To Cover New Train

16 May 2019

The first new high capacity train to hit the tracks will also be the Melbourne’s longest moving canvas, with artworks by local Aboriginal artists and collectives shortlisted to cover the state-of-the-art train.

Four Victorian First Peoples artists and collectives are in the running to create a unique artwork for the first High Capacity Metro Train (HCMT), which will start running on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines this year.

It’s one of 65 ordered by the Andrews Labor Government as part of the biggest investment in new trains in Victoria’s history.

The shortlisted artists are Kirrae Whurrong woman Fiona Clarke (Warrnambool), Boon Wurrung man Adam Magennis (Mornington), Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson (Hampton Park), and a Ballarat-based mob of three Koori men, Pitcha Makin Fellas, who belong to different language groups.

One of the designs features colourful clock faces to demonstrate the rich history of Aboriginal people while others use symbols to represent iconic Melbourne landmarks such as the MCG, different layers of Wurundjeri Country, and the many cultures of the Kulin Nations.

Each artist boasts a rich catalogue of work – including working on Commonwealth Games and White Night Melbourne – and have demonstrated they can produce vibrant, high quality and unique designs that will work on the train’s 160-metre-long canvas.

The winning design will be selected later this month by a panel featuring representatives from Victorian First Peoples communities, before a full-scale design suitable for the first train is developed and commissioned.

While Aboriginal artwork has adorned trams in Melbourne and Bendigo previously, this will be the first time that artwork by an Aboriginal artist or collective has appeared on a train in Victoria.

All 65 of the next-generation trains will be introduced to Melbourne’s train network by 2023, providing a smoother, quieter, and more comfortable ride for all Victorians.

The new trains will be significantly larger than existing trains, able to carry 1380 passengers or around 20 per cent more passengers per service.

To view the shortlisted designs and learn about the new trains visit Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne

“We’re delighted to celebrate the cultures and histories of Victoria’s Aboriginal community by showcasing local Aboriginal artwork on the first of Melbourne’s new bigger, better trains.”

“These new trains will carry more passengers with every trip and support more services right across the network.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“This will be Melbourne’s longest canvas, showcasing our finest Aboriginal artists to all Victorians.”

“We’ve shortlisted works from both emerging and established Victorian Aboriginal artists that feature vibrant, unique designs, with themes ranging from cultural diversity to journeys and meeting places.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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