Island Wave moves to Kensington

By Sean Car

One of Melbourne’s most well-recognised pieces of public art is moving from the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) precinct to Newmarket Reserve in Kensington. 

Island Wave by artist Lisa Young has been located at the Queen Victoria Market roundabout at the intersection of Queen and Franklin streets since 2003 after being launched by former Lord Mayor John So and then-councillor Kimberly Kitching. 

However, CBD News can confirm that the steel sculpture will be relocated to a new home at Newmarket Reserve in Kensington as part of the City of Melbourne’s QVM renewal program. 

The roundabout is being removed as part of a reconfiguration of traffic arrangements in the market precinct, as well as the pending development of a development site at the southern end of the market’s former car park along Franklin St. 

The artwork was de-installed from the roundabout in June over three days and it presently offsite undergoing modifications to strengthen its base structure in preparation for installation at its new home, which is understood to have a greater wind loading. 

The foundation for the artwork has already been poured at Newmarket Reserve, however installation has been delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

A source within the council said installation would proceed as soon as current restrictions allowed for five people to be on site. The artwork will then be painted and resurfaced on site over a two-week period, with landscaping works to be finalised once installed. 

According to the University of Melbourne, the sculpture was created as the inaugural work for the council’s Melbourne Collection Commissions, a fund for significant and permanent site-specific works by contemporary artists. •

“Controversially, the sculpture replaced Tom Bill’s With and With Each Other, which, despite having only a three-month permit, had remained on the roundabout since the 1998 Construction in Process Sculpture Festival,” a University of Melbourne study said. 

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