By Jed Lanyon
A three-dimensional, interactive photographic sculpture was officially unveiled to the Coldstream community on Wednesday 27 November.
Photographer James Voller created and installed his artwork, Future’s Past, at the Coldstream Melba Connect Project site – a path soon to connect Melba Estate, the former home of Dame Nellie Melba with the Coldstream shopping precinct.
Mr Voller said the work creates an illusion of an early European shelter on the nature strip at the north end of town.
“The work places an image of a hut from the Yarra Valley, prior to Coldstream’s settlement onto the site,” he said.
“The photograph has been printed into glass, cut out and placed onto a steel frame, creating a three-dimensional work.
“When you’re walking past, it looks like two abstract shards. But when you stand at the correct point, they align to form an image of one of the first houses that was built here in the Yarra Valley.”
Mr Voller recommends visitors to come along as the sun is rising or setting as the light hits the glass and shines through.
“It completely illuminates and glows. It looks like it is lit,” he said.
Ryrie Ward Councillor Fiona McAllister said the work, which is now visible from the Maroondah Highway, will continue to be an attraction for tourists and residents walking through the town.
“The Coldstream Melba Connect Project will connect two of the main areas in town, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to wander through Coldstream and see more of what it has to offer,” Cr McAllister said.
“Mr Voller sculpture is a striking piece of public artwork, one that is sure to catch the attention of visitors and add to the unique experience of coming to the Yarra Valley.
“I’m thrilled that this artwork has been finished, right in time for one of our peak tourist seasons, and I encourage visitors and residents to take a moment to visit the artwork on their way through town.
Mr Voller’s work was selected as part of the Coldstream Public Sculpture Project, where artists were encouraged to submit their vision for sculpture works to line the pathway.
Boral Australia provided $50,000 for the community to commission an artist to develop the artwork.
Boral Quarries also provided new crushed rock material which lines the pathway, which council states has significantly reduced the project costs to establish the community asset.
Boral’s general manager of quarries, Peter Head, said Boral had a long association with the local area, with the Coldstream Quarry providing hard rock aggregates used on local projects and projects throughout Melbourne’s east, south-east and CBD.
“The Coldstream Melba Connect Project is a great locally driven initiative and we are proud to have been involved, providing financial back-up and support, as part of our commitment and contribution to the local community,” Mr Head said.
“Having been an integral part of the local community for more than 50 years, Boral is continuing to work with the council and other local representatives to further improve cultural and community facilities in the region.”