Transformer, created by Louise Paramor, pays homage to its urban surroundings – the historic Union Knitting Mills and the Hoffman Brickworks in Moreland. While suggestive of actual industry the work is playful an mysterious, hinting at a science fiction fantasy. Transformer’s colours are those of energy itself, orange and yellow, evoking the origins of life, as well as heat and potential.The overall skyward thrust of the piece inspires feelings of buoyancy and optimism.
The work also references everyday objects, a choice inspired by the objects that members of the local community have placed along the Upfield Bike Path, in an attempt to humanise the surroundings. The central orange ovoid of the sculpture is taken from a children’s outdoor ball game and suggests the insulators of the nearby Substation No.33, as well as the power lines of the railway overhead. This central form is held by a yellow frame derived from a stand for dress-up wigs; the pole beacon atop the sculpture, a scaled-up version of a knitting needle, echoing the adjacent historic art deco Union Knitting Mills.
Transformer promises to become a symbol of the life and energy of Coburg’s urban precinct.
The work was fabricated in steel by DJ Projects. It stands at 6.7 metres in height and rises from a circular brick base that forms a pattern of concentric rings which allude to the ripple effect of water; a symbol to mark the approximate halfway point between Moonee Ponds Creek and Merri Creek. The bricks have been custom glazed in black and white, paying homage to the historic Hoffman Brickworks in nearby Brunswick, one of the first mechanical brickworks in Australia, established in late 1880’s, purported to have produced a staggering 40 million bricks per year.
Louise Paramor is well known for her large-scale public art commissions, which often combine formal concerns with found objects and a pop-inspired sensibility. A resident of the City of Moreland, Paramor has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally and is held in numerous collections throughout Australia.
Transformer was commissioned by the Level Crossing Removal Project for the Bell to Moreland Project
Videography by Yask Desai
Painted mild steel, brickwork, LED lighting
The Level Crossing Removal Project
Moreland Station, Melbourne