A Love Letter From Southbank
Vexillology, Print Design, Public Art
Testing Grounds, Melbourne
A Love Letter to South Bank
We sit below, behind, sunk under; a vivid weed sprung up in an abandoned corner of the arts precinct. We’re a bastard child of dedication and reclaimed ruin and opportunism and ambition and testing things out. We’re here for a good time, not a long time.
We see different sides of our suburb. We see people cross the site, some up to the NGV for some capital-A Art and others back to the hotel room for a lie down and a sober up. We feel the nervous excitement as Southbank stares down the barrel of re-development; a precinct-wide overhaul with more than a little resemblance to it’s London namesake, where a great big eye looms down on theatres and galleries and public spaces lined up along the Thames.
Will the work on our own river-hugging suburb make lovers of awkward bedfellows? Will it tangle together the suburb’s different industries and inhabitants? Will it mix everything down into a sanitised shitbrown? We think about what else might be possible…and of course (because we care) we can’t help thinking about ourselves. Wondering what difference we are making. Are we moving the needle? Will anyone care when we’re gone?
These flags are one direction of that thinking. A declaration of love to Southbank. A suburb-loving shout of hope for its prosperous future.
Southbank is dead.Words by Trent Griffiths
Long live Southbank.
These flags embody the various layers of Testing Grounds and surrounding arts precinct. Gasping for air, the submerged typography is housed within a retrospective colour response. It reflects a tension of Testing Grounds’ geographic position within Southbank; the site itself sitting underneath it’s older siblings, the NGV and Art Centre. Sidled into a corner, the piece refracts off the towering, geometry of the cement surrounds; an amplification of the industrial, the residential, the passing foot traffic, the creative energy…
This design exemplifies the distinct voice of Testing Grounds within Southbank.
Forms of Resistance