Read more about the 2017 Melbourne Art Trams from the artists that created them.

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People's Choice Award Winner

St Albans Heights Primary School's Community Hub

Emma Anna—The Language of Fracture (tram ID 3532)

The Language of Fracture is made from the repeated mirroring of an image drawn from an ongoing series of street art paintings. I consider these works a form of urban topography. The series reveals the hidden maps in the cracks of the urban landscape and celebrates the beauty of imperfection.

Matthew Clarke—Lost In Melbourne (tram ID 2012)

My painting is about Melbourne’s size, colours, proportions, life and streetscape: which as an artist from the country, can be both exciting and overwhelming. As an artist with a mild intellectual disability and mental illness, I am proud to show that having a disability is not a barrier for creating great art.

Bushra Hasan—Tramjatra (tram ID 2007)

My inspiration for designing a Tramjatra tram comes from my love for Melbourne’s trams and the unique friendship between the tram-loving communities of Kolkata (India) and Melbourne and partnership with Melbourne trammie, Roberto D’Andrea.

Tramjatra works in partnership with the Calcutta Tramways Company and Government of West Bengal. Tramjatra has a rich history of engaging Victoria’s Indian diaspora reflecting years of collaboration between Melbourne and Kolkata. This tram design honours the tramways relationship between Kolkata and Melbourne. The first friendship tram was launched from Belgatchia Depot in October 1996. 12 trams have since been decorated in Kolkata. 2016 was the 20th anniversary of Tramjatra with a rich history of friendship, the love of trams and highlighting the environmental benefits of tramways.

Oliver Hutchison (tram ID 5106)

This work was created to allow people on the street outside the tram to share in the momentary experiences and connections of those inside. Using video to capture the view out the window of a 96 tram, from Brunswick to St Kilda and back, I created a spectrographic encoding that translated the entire journey into an abstract colour field. The encoding was made using a generative algorithm which collapsed each frame of video into a single vertical stripe of colours. These colours capture both the broad ambience and the exceptional, diverse and unique aspects of the flux of time, space, colour and life as experienced in that moment.

Justine McAllister (tram ID 273)

My artwork explores the idea of the diverse Melbourne tram traveller along with my own travel history of Melbourne. I visited the ten tram stops that have played the most significant part of my life in Melbourne, and photographed ten travellers that frequently use the same stops.

Josh Muir—Murrunghurk (tram ID 2054)

Josh is a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara Barkindji man. The two sides of the tram narrate the story of William Buckley, the ‘wild white man’: an escaped English convict who lived with the Wathaurong people for many years.

Robert Owen—Beautiful Stranger (tram 3008)

Beautiful Stranger is a continuation of Robert Owen’s celebrated series ‘Music for the Eyes’, inspired by jazz, movement and light. It plays homage to the history of jazz in Melbourne, and extends Owen’s exploration of art’s capacity to translate mood and emotion through colour. Beautiful Stranger reflects chance encounters between Melbourne’s vibrant multicultural communities that travel the trams everyday.

St Albans Heights Primary School's Community Hub (tram 5002)

St Albans Heights Primary School’s Community Hub came together to collectively develop the design for this artwork. Families observed similarities between the school community and the wider Melbourne community that they wanted to capture: that Melbourne is proudly diverse. The portraits are true mirrors of the Melbourne community and express its diversity of age, gender, cultural heritage, language and beliefs. The faces are left blank so that the portraits aren’t defined by skin colour and Melburnians can imagine themselves depicted on the tram. The coloured squares were inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art which captures playfulness, diversity and inspires imagination, just like the school.