Steel and fibreglass sculpture on a bitumen, concrete and bluestone foundation
Corner of Bourke and Russell Streets
Chris Reynolds' A History Apparatus - Vessel, Craft and Beacon was conceived as part of the National Metal Industry Sculpture Project, an innovative sculpture-in-residency program that aimed to cultivate links between the artistic and technical endeavours and the greater community.
The work comprises three main elements - the vessel, craft and beacon - and three lesser elements - the chord, snip-ring and trestle. The main components of this sprawling sculpture, 24 metres in length, refer to the temporal concepts that anchor us in the world: the vessel represents the past, the craft represents the present and the beacon the future.
A History Apparatus resulted from a collaborative effort between the artist and the Australian Metal Workers Union, Aerospace Technology of Australia and the City of Melbourne. Each of these organisations has an illustrious past but is forging a new future. While the work gives a nod to these organisations' histories, it also comments on the continuity of time and how we all construct our histories, presents and futures.
The sculpture sits on the site of Melbourne's first underground public toilet, opened in 1902, which is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.