Living sculpture by Joanne Mott for Verde Apartments
ADA Consulting worked as art consultants for Verde Apartments to commission artist Joanne Mott to create a sculpture for the residents of Verde and the St Kilda community. Mott responded to the brief, creating ‘Blue Wren’, an organic sculpture installed in the front garden beds of Verde in December 2016.
Joanne Mott’s site-specific artworks employ a number of elements in their creation. They intend to capture the ‘spirit of place’ in a contemporary context. Mott examines the historic and living components of the site in the creation of her artworks, employing environmentally sustainable materials and plants. Mott thinks of the landscape as composed of ‘layers’ that build up over generations and cultures, her works aim to draw up information from those hidden layers to say something of our contemporary culture and current times.
In the development of Blue Wren, Mott looked for a common thread that could connect the diverse histories of the site. She sought to celebrate the unique culture of the City of Port Phillip; specifically meeting it’s Urban Art Policy. She investigated and responded to the rich layers that exist in the area, from the early indigenous inhabitants, the Boon Wurrung, through it’s colonial development, as waves of immigrants settled and today as a creative multicultural neighbourhood. On top of this is Mott’s own experience and memories as an art student and resident in the 1990’s pervade her relationship to the area.
Located in the front elevated garden bed of the Verdi Apartments, the artwork is a sculpture representing a stylised bird, the Blue Wren. The inner layer of the sculpture is a metal trellis frame handcrafted from steel with a rust finish. The frame is then filled out (over time) with a Hardenbergia violacea indigenous vine, which produces a profusion of striking purple pea-shaped flower clusters for almost half the year. When not in bloom, glossy elongated leaves form a verdant coverage of the text. The entire work spans across the front of the building in the 1 metre raised garden bed.
This public artwork is a living work that can be enjoyed by both passers by and the residents alike. It can be viewed from the front of the property by the public on the street, both on foot and in vehicles. Residents on the apartment balconies above can also view the plants throughout the year.
St Kilda, Victoria
City of Port Philip