LOCAL ARTIST’S TIMELY TWIST AT FORMER LEVEL CROSSING

A Macedon Ranges sculptor has added creative flair to the space underneath Melton Highway’s new bridge in place of a notorious Sydenham level crossing.

A concept from sculptor Jason Waterhouse was chosen as the Melton Highway Level Crossing Removal Project’s preferred artwork late last year following a comprehensive two-stage process, including detailed submissions from shortlisted artists that were evaluated by an expert panel.

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP met with Mr Waterhouse at the site of the finished work for its official opening in Sydenham today.

The artwork, entitled ‘Levelled Crossing’, reuses the removed boom gates from the former Melton Highway level crossing and ties them together, fabricating the central knot in steel and grafting it to the existing boom gates to give a seamless finish.

Mr Waterhouse, who operates an arts hub in Kyneton, installed the artwork in December last year as part of an architect-designed space under the eastern side of the new six-lane road bridge.
Public expressions of interest for the artwork opened in early 2018 and from the submissions received, shortlisted artists were invited to visit the site and submit detailed designs and costings.

Artists were encouraged to meet several public artwork outcomes in their submissions and were assessed on criteria such as artistic quality and viewer experience; feasibility of installation; and contribution to the local area.

‘Levelled Crossing’ is the most recent artwork to be installed as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project, following pieces already installed at several new train stations across Melbourne.
The Melton Highway level crossing was removed for good in January 2018. For more information about the project, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/projects/melton-highway

Quotes attributable to Artist, Jason Waterhouse:

“The work provides viewers and commuters with a fun, engaging and slightly surreal experience as they pass through the space and encounter the sculpture.

“‘Levelled Crossing’ is a playful take on the rail/road intersection history of the site and its recent urban development.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas:

“It’s such a delight to see Jason Waterhouse’s clever and creative concept on display – I’m proud of the booming arts scene we have across the Central Highlands and the Macedon Ranges.”

“The Andrews Government has committed to removing 75 level crossings by 2025 and this artwork is a playful celebration of the progress being made to get rid of these level crossings once and for all.”

Quote attributable to Member for Sydenham, Natalie Hutchins:

“Our unprecedented removal of level crossings is making a real difference to people’s lives – reducing congestion, improving safety and creating thousands of jobs for people all over Victoria.”