Sculpture for Eltham Gateway revealed

From Media Release

Artist's impression of the installation. Illustration Supplied

A bold sculpture with intricate detailing that plays with line, light and shadow has been announced as the public artwork to feature in the revitalised Eltham Gateway.

Created by Nillumbik artist Maureen Faye-Chauhan, the sculpture celebrates the shire’s unique bushland and the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people.

Wurundjeri elders have chosen the title, “Gunga winhanga warr bundha ba winhanga warr djurring” in traditional Woi wurrung language, meaning “Take what you need and not what you greed.”

The announcement comes as landscaping works started this week on the Eltham Gateway project, which will see both sides of Main Road landscaped with significant plantings of native vegetation in a collaboration between Council, Major Road Projects Victoria, Eltham MP Vicki Ward and The Southern Gateway Renewal Group.

Made of steel and measuring more than 2m tall and 5m wide, the sculpture will sit north of Main Road between the flower stand and the Diamond Creek Bridge.

“I’m passionate about the bush,” Maureen said. “Walking through the bush, it changes every day. You see the different forms of branches and rocks. …

“The strongest idea that resonated with me for this project was working around the beautiful manna gums on site, exploring the significance of the trees for the Wurundjeri people,” she said.

Nillumbik artist Maureen Faye-Chauhan

The multi-dimensional structure blends the shapes of the fallen, twisted boughs of the manna gums with that of a scarred tree form – created when First Nations people removed bark for canoes, shields and other items.

The artwork will be made of 52 steel facets with linear cutouts, and is being fabricated at Alustain in Campbellfield, owned by another Nillumbik local, Brett Morrison.

Eltham MP Vicki Ward said, “The wonderful, organic, inclusive feel of this sculpture will really resonate with locals, and offers a real sense of arrival, of coming home, of being welcomed to Eltham.”

“I think it will mark the entrance to Eltham and the shire in a way that says, ‘This place is a little different to wherever you have come from,” said Deputy Mayor, Councillor Geoff Paine. “By day, it will remind passing traffic that they’re entering a place where art and nature are important, and by night, its soft glow will say, ‘The light is on, welcome’.”

Maureen’s works are in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia, and have been exhibited worldwide.