Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop. 1995.

Charity being kind to the poor.

Vault. 1980.

What the statue


YEAR: 2012.

MEDIA: Digital moving image.

DURATION: 2 mins. 16secs.


Case study 1, 2 and 3:

I like a good ear, or two! In evolutionary

terms ears are a strategically placed pair

of receiving structures built on uniquely

shaped cartilage, the function of which has a
singular purpose (plural if you wear glasses).

So I thought it might be interesting to get some empathy going and let the public know what statues hear (and over hear).

And while drinking a particularly nice cup of tea it got me wondering about the relationship between “public art” and “the public” and the connective powers of two-way interactions.

The information collected by ears, along with that of other senses helps to better understand the world around us. So what would happen if I introduced the sense of hearing to various examples of public art in Melbourne? Does it take us closer to the art when we can experience “sense” as they do, and in doing so produce a to-and-fro experiential “moment”?

These 3 clips represent three examples designed to be viewed in a cluster.

  1. Peter Corlett’s Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop 1995.

  2. Victor Tilgner’s Charity being kind to the poor Circ. 1893.

  3. Ron Robertson-Swann's Vault 1980.

I chose these three examples because they were at ground level. I wanted a plinth-less experience, although "Charity" once stood four stories above street level it’s now back on the earth in the gardens of University of Melbourne, so it’s heard more than most public art. Vault is also well travelled given it’s globe-trotting performances during the 80s and 90s before settling in the grounds of ACCA. As for why I chose W-ear-y, I can't remember.

I deliberately dropped the volume level in Weary to reflect the lowering in hearing he would have experienced as an aging man. For the Vault I had to manufacture an ear because, of course, how else would it hear? Which begs the question: do abstract sculptures hear purely abstract sounds?

I wonder after viewing these video pieces if you go past Weary, or Charity or Vault you might say hello, goodbye, or anything in between. I’m sure they’re up for a chat. They ain’t goin’n anywhere.



What the statue heard.