Riverside Corolla
Southgate main atrium
Southbank, Melbourne

Riverside Corolla is a permanent public art project by Melbourne-based artist John Meade, curated and commissioned by Simon Maidment on behalf of Satellite Art Projects.

This major new sculptural work by John Meade has been conceived in response to the large glassed atrium space of Melbourne’s Southgate, in view of the Yarra River. Six discrete suspended elements combine to bring a sense of cascading movement above and past the viewer. The relationship between each of the complex, organic, large-scale forms is intended to shift as one moves around the work, and it has been situated to accentuate this interplay. The work is flanked by balconies and escalators on each side, allowing a viewer to pass around and beneath the work in close proximity across multiple planes.

The work makes use of sensual colours found in nature, recalling yellow flowers, pink skies and sandy earth. Along with this palette, their smooth, curved forms bring an organic quality to the sky-lit atrium, a rejoinder to its linear architecture and strengthening a relationship to the flowing river below. John Meade elaborates on the ideas underpinning the work:

I always had in mind the Hokusai print, A Sudden Gust of Wind, 1831, when I was developing Riverside Corolla. In that image, sheets of paper are strewn into the air, scattering across the fields, with Mount Fuji in the background. There is a lovely horizontal aspect to the floating, flat sheets of paper.

In developing the forms I was interested in abstracting a petal motif that I could repeat and distribute through the atrium space, although the shapes, themselves, have not come from any particular flower. A corolla is the arrangement of petals on a flower. I liked the idea of a flower by the riverside, dissembled and cast adrift by the wind.

Riverside Corolla was commissioned by Satellite Art Projects for DEXUS as part of their landmark redevelopment of Southgate.

John Meade and curator Simon Maidment worked closely with Darryl Cowie of DCG Design throughout the design development, fabrication and installation stages to realise this ambitious project.

In situ images by Andrew Curtis.

John Meade is a Melbourne-based artist who has held regular individual and group exhibitions with galleries and museums since 1995, including the survey exhibition Objects to Live By. The Art of John Meade (2010), which has recently completed an extensive nation-wide tour. His work is held in the Monash University Collection; Museum of Contemporary Art; Heide Museum of Modern Art and National Gallery of Victoria as well as private and corporate collections.
He is represented by Sutton Gallery.

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