A local, national and international search is underway for artists, painters and sculptors to create permanent public art for Melbourne’s new Metro Tunnel stations, with some of Victoria’s greatest creative minds enlisted to help select the artists.
Six large-scale artworks, including five works within the new stations at North Melbourne, Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac and one online-wide commission, will become new landmarks for the city.
A mix of Victorian, national, international and Indigenous artists will be commissioned - either via expressions of interest or by invitation - to create iconic artworks that will complement the architectural design of the stations.
Expressions of interest to create permanent art for the new North Melbourne Station on Arden Street, State Library Station at the northern end of Swanston Street and the online-wide commission are now open.
Commissions for Parkville, Town Hall and Anzac stations will be via invitation, with shortlisted artists to be contacted in coming months. The online-wide commission will be an artwork created by an Aboriginal artist, which spans all five stations. This artist will be selected via a call for expressions of interest to the Indigenous art community.
Each piece of permanent art will have distinct links to the area’s character and heritage.
For example, Parkville Station’s curatorial theme will relate to the precinct’s focus on science, research, medicine and health, while Anzac Station’s legacy piece will have a connection to ‘memory and parkland’, due to its proximity to the Shrine of Remembrance and Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Metro Tunnel Arts Advisory Panel (MTAAP), a group featuring leaders from Victoria’s creative industry, will be responsible for shortlisting and interviewing artists for all legacy pieces.
The panel includes Professor Donald Bates (Lead architect of Federation Square), Max Delany (Artistic Director/CEO at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art) and renowned arts leader and curator, Professor Natalie King.
A senior Victorian Indigenous curator is also on the panel, whose practice focuses on South Eastern Aboriginal arts and culture. All artists will be selected by the end of this year.
The temporary program is livening up major worksites and surrounding areas with artworks and innovative treatments on hoardings, while performances and events around the sites will also take place in the future. More information is available at
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley
“The major artworks developed for Melbourne’s five new train stations will provide word-class public art experiences for visitors and users of the Metro Tunnel, enhancing our city’s reputation as Australia’s cultural capital.”
“The Metro Tunnel Project will not only transform our rail network, but also help shape Melbourne’s social, cultural and economic future, supporting the city’s growth for decades to come.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020