Melton Library Lighting Installation

Growth, Warren Langley

Floating above the cafe, the illuminated forms of Growth create a vibrant focal point to the Melton Library and Learning Hub. Langley drew inspiration from the local flora - the twelve radial forms are conceived as abstractions of the Bull Mallee blossom, (Eucalyptus behriana), which is the floral emblem of Melton Shire.

This installation is part of Langley’s ongoing interest in the concept of ‘chandelier’ in contemporary architecture - there is a delicate interplay of luminosity, shadow and reflection which lends the piece a dynamic and shifting quality.

FJMT was involved throughout the procurement of this artwork, from its inception, through to fabrication and installation. We were responsible for compiling the Artwork Brief, which expanded on Council’s original briefing document by highlighting specific opportunities for the artwork, including nomination of its current location. FJMT constructed the 1:25 physical model into which the four shortlisted artists’ maquettes were inserted during their presentations, allowing the Panel to assess the proposals from the various key vantage points. FJMT remained involved throughout the design development of the artwork, running the Artwork Workshops, and undertaking detailed coordination to ensure the building met the artwork’s specific structural and electrical requirements. We made regular visits to the artist’s Studio in Sydney, to oversee the fabrication process.

The artwork is designed to be experienced from all angles - from the streetscape, from the cafe below, and from the reading room above. Each glowing blossom is composed of subtly undulating Polyethylene ‘stamen’, radiating from a central aluminium support structure. Sustainability was a key consideration - the artwork utilises recycled materials, and is itself entirely recyclable. The white and yellow light tubes are illuminated by LED lights, and each of the suspended forms draws less than 40W of power. The artwork is powered entirely by solar panels located on the roof, and light sensors detect changes in outdoor conditions (for example, as a cloud passes overhead) and the intensity of the light levels adjusts in response. Fine stainless steel rods reticulate power internally from the ceiling space, and provide support for the forms, which are each approximately 2m in diameter and weigh up to 19kg.

From the initial submission to installation, the development of the artwork took in the order of 12 months. Growth was fabricated in Langley’s Sydney Studio, with the assistance of Armature Design Support. In addition to the artist, credit must also be given to the client Melton City Council (at the time, Melton Shire Council) represented by Ruby Wingrove (the Council’s Arts & Culture Officer) and Leigh Ryall (the Council’s Capital Projects Coordinator). The consultant team included Murchie and TTW, and the contractors ADCO also played a significant role in the delivery of this piece.

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