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At Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy, a large, empty plinth stood in the centre of a circular garden bed. The plinth was erected in 1901 and was originally the base for a wooden statue of Queen Victoria which only stood watch over the gardens for a very short while before going missing. The statue was never replaced and the plinth has stood strangely bare in the park for over a century. In 2016, the City of Yarra initiated a temporary public art program for this site.
Positioned within the context of memorial, the plinth and the locker share a particular relationship in their vacantness. With the plinth’s original intention to honour the passing of Queen Victoria, the absence of her statue opens up broader considerations of whom and what we commemorate. The locker is a familiar utilitarian form―symbolic of the many industries and institutions it serves―schools, TAFES, universities and workplaces. The balance of what remains and what is removed is where the tension exists in this newly commissioned work, Middle Row.
Artist: Robbie Rowlands
Client: City of Yarra
Location: Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Artist Management: David Hagger
Photography: Robbie RowlandsMarch 2017 - March 2019