Peter Atkins, 'TRACKwork’
Old Geelong Road
Old Geelong Road was the second level crossing removal art commissions led by T Projects. Working closely with the Western Program Alliance, comprising of McConnell Dowell, Mott Macdonald, Denton Corker Marshall, Hassell and Arup, we developed the brief, sourced artists, assisted the shortlisted artists throughout concept design, before supporting the selected artist, Peter Atkins, through detailed design to completion.
The client specified the artwork was to be fully integrated into the wider scheme, due to the high volume of traffic and that the artwork be site specific, reflecting people and place. The artist developed an artwork which is integrated into the pedestrian foot bridge floor tiles, inspired by unique train tickets used by passengers from the western suburbs throughout the twentieth century. Tiles are used to display the art on the floor of the 70m overpass, in a contemporary take on a classic railway experience influenced by the London Underground, Paris Metro and the New York Subway. The ticket-inspired design connects commuters to stories of past journeys through Hoppers Crossing, referencing the paper tickets that train passengers once used.
Peter's practice centres around the deconstruction of ready-made abstract forms that he documents within the urban environment. "TRACKwork" explores our collective social, cultural and personal narratives, taking visual inspiration from original suburban train tickets issued between 1920 and the late 1980s.
'All those circles and stripes meant something. It's like the stripe was a return ticket, the circle was to certain stations. Your colours represented particular stations…the brown might've been a one-way ticket, and then the yellow part was the return ticket.'
For Peter, the train tickets remain the ultimate social connector.
'When you a buy a train ticket, we're all the same. There's this lovely kind of democracy… they belong to everyone.'
The artwork has taken approximately three weeks to install, with crews laying approximately 11,000 tiles in ten vibrant different colours.