News & Media

EastLink artworks good as new

Three of EastLink’s most recognisable artworks have been renovated and are now as good as new.

EastLink’s collection of public artworks includes four huge artworks located along the EastLink tollway, and eight smaller sculptures along the EastLink Trail shared use path.

The artworks – all by respected artists – are set in EastLink’s 480 hectares of landscaping, arguably forming Australia’s largest sculpture park.

Doug Spencer Roy with Ellipsoidal Freeway SculptureEastLink corporate affairs manager Doug Spencer-Roy (image right) said, “EastLink’s much-loved art collection cost $5 million when the artworks were commissioned and acquired shortly before EastLink opened in 2008, so it’s important they are maintained properly.”

“Three of the artworks needed maintenance recently, and with renovation works now complete, they are as good as new,” he said.

Public Art Strategy, by Melbourne-based artist Emily Floyd, had some rust damage and patchy paintwork. EastLink has now completed the necessary repairs and a total repaint of the iconic 13 metre tall black bird, which is ominously contemplating a yellow worm. 50 litres of black paint were used for the bird, plus 25 litres of yellow paint for the worm. Beautifully repainted, Public Art Strategy will continue to describe Melbourne through its public art by referencing a number of other important outdoor sculptures across Melbourne.

Public Art Strategy after repairs and total repaint:

Public Art Strategy landscape 800w

Ellipsoidal Freeway Sculpture, by Australian artist James Angus, was damaged in October 2018 by a runaway trailer carrying a small excavator (watch the 7News report about the incident). The paintwork of this 30 metre long artwork, affectionately known by EastLink personnel as ‘the Smarties’, had also faded. The runaway trailer destroyed one of the 24 fibreglass ellipsoids, and badly damaged another. Following negotiations with the trailer operator’s insurer, EastLink was finally able to proceed with the manufacture and installation of two replacement ellipsoids. Ellipsoidal Freeway Sculpture was also given a total repaint to refresh the artwork and ensure the two new ellipsoids colour-match with the others. The colours are drawn from the surrounding native flora.

Ellipsoidal Freeway Sculpture - before, during and after renovation:

Ellipsoidal before during after montage 800w

Red Rings, by the late Inge King – a pioneer of contemporary sculpture – had faded paintwork and had become a paler shade of its former self. EastLink completed the repainting of Red Rings’ three steel rings, each 2.5 metres in diameter, shortly before the COVID pandemic. Once more resplendent in vibrant red, the artwork’s colour contrasts strongly with the green landscaping, expressing the strength and tension that is the motivating force behind it.

Red Rings resplendent in vibrant red:

Red Rings landscape 800w

Compared to Red Rings as it was prior to repainting:

Rings before 800w

“As a leader in transport sustainability, EastLink is proud of our public art collection. We will continue to look after the artworks on behalf of the community, in the same way as we look after the road, tunnels, bridges, landscaping, wetlands, and other EastLink assets,” concluded Doug Spencer-Roy.

The three renovated artworks can be seen at these locations (but remember - stopping is not allowed on EastLink):

  • Public Art Strategy is located adjacent to EastLink southbound just before EastLink’s interchange with Dandenong Bypass.
  • Ellipsoidal Freeway Sculpture is located adjacent to EastLink northbound just after EastLink’s interchange with Wellington Road.
  • Red Rings is located adjacent to the EastLink Trail to the north of EastLink’s interchange with Ferntree Gully Road. It is also visible from the tollway.

More information about EastLink’s sculpture park, including a downloadable booklet with a map, is available on the EastLink website.

EastLink. Time Better Spent.