Silicon bronze, galvanized and mild steel sculpture
Corner of Russell and Little Collins Streets
This monumental sculpture by Melbourne artist Maurie Hughes has been designed to take advantage of the movement of traffic and pedestrians. The use of staggered plinths explores the concept of 'journey' and the pomp of ceremonial processions. The work also references Chris Reynolds' A History Apparatus, which is located on the same median strip on the corner of Bourke Street. The idea of 'spirit' is conveyed symbolically in the flue, through which forces trapped under the earth can be released into the air. This element of the complex sculpture, with its urn, archways and sentinels, is central to the commission.
Funded by Telstra and the City of Melbourne's Urban & Public Art Program, the sculpture is linked to the redevelopment of Telstra's former Russell Street exchange. The site incorporates the ventilation point for the 6.5 kilometres of decommissioned Telstra tunnels that run beneath Melbourne's CBD and which housed the line network. Hughes' sculptural vent was commissioned with a brief to incorporate the functional and visually meaningful elements of the vent.