Corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets
Born in Holland, Petrus Spronk immigrated to Australia in 1957 and trained as a ceramicist and sculptor in South Australia. He was commissioned to undertake Architectural Fragment for the Swanston Street Walk Public Art Project in 1992, and it was unveiled the following year.
Sited outside the State Library of Victoria, the pyramidal, Port Fairy bluestone sculpture represents a fragment of the library emerging from the pavement as an archaeological artefact might. It has been conceived to engage with its environment, visually connecting to its surroundings through both form and material.
Spronk's intention was to create a dialogue of sorts between art, history and place. His inspiration was Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem 'Ozymandias', which speaks of the fragile and transient nature of all that is human. Quoting from the poem, the pedestal reads: 'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my work you Mighty, and despair.' Architectural Fragment is a Pythagorean triangle, which expresses a strong association with the geometry of ancient Greece. Like a fallen classical monument, it reflects the past and alludes to the transience of the present.