Metro Tunnel brings tantalising trail of First Nations artworks to CBD

Metro Tunnel brings tantalising trail of First Nations artworks to CBD

As the city shivers through a classic Melbourne winter, the Metro Tunnel’s Creative Program is offering the perfect way to reinvigorate the mind, body, and spirit, with a stroll through Melbourne’s CBD.  

A trail of First Nations artworks along the project’s site fences is an ideal route for winter walkers, as well as an opportunity to feel connected to Country. 

Start your walk in Scott Alley off Flinders Lane to view an emotive piece by First Nations artist Emmy Webbers – Power of Community. 

Webbers, who was born and raised within the Kulin Nations of Victoria, said the work was inspired by the 2022 NAIDOC theme “Get up, Stand up, Show up”. 

“As a community we have always been good at getting behind each other and these moments fill me with strong emotions; I feel pride and strength and support in these moments,” they said. 

Webbers’ work won the Metro Tunnel Creative Program 2D Award in the 2022 Koorie Art Show, presented by the Koorie Heritage Trust. 

Next head to Swanston St to take in Barkindji man Kent Morris’ mesmerising mural along the City Square site fence. 

The mural, Sovereign Seconds, is a series of photographic images that have been transformed into a kaleidoscopic network of patterns reflecting First Nations cultural knowledge systems. 

Morris said the images reinforced ancestry, sovereignty and the undeniable wisdom and knowledge of millennia. 

“This process decentres the focus on the individual subject and reinforces community and cultural connection to Country, to a philosophy that has always been here and will always be here,” he said. 

Morris is also CEO of The Torch Project, an initiative that supports First Nations people in Victoria whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system. 

You can see works by artists from The Torch a short stroll away along the Metro Tunnel site fence on Franklin St. The expressive paintings explore cultural narratives, totem animals and a deep connection to Country.  The Metro Tunnel Creative Program is designed to maintain Melbourne’s vibrancy, liveability, and public spaces during construction of the project.  

Creative Program Manager Sarah Robins said having a range of artists involved in the program challenged ideas of what First Nations artwork could be. 

“We are thrilled to create opportunities for First Nations artists to exhibit in the heart of the city and for everyday commuters and visitors to Melbourne to see artwork by emerging and established artists,” Ms Robins said. 

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