Atong Atem’s LED artwork at Beulah’s Hanover House has come to life, with the luminous depictions of Australian flora now available for public viewing.
Commissioned by the property developer to signal an exciting new chapter in the city’s creative scene, Atem’s artwork was created over six weeks, across two facades of Hanover House.
The site will eventually play host to Australia’s tallest tower, STH BNK by Beulah, with the artwork part of BETA By STH BNK, an experiential event series that will bring together international brands, revered artists and makers, immersive dining and much more over a six-month period.
The artwork, titled Outdoor Living (2021), is inspired by Atem’s archive of colonial and vintage European wallpapers. Illuminated neon tulips and a 8.5m banksia by Electric Confetti overlay a painted wallpaper design across two facades of the 20m building in a vibrant transformation that encapsulates the artist’s vision of Melbourne’s past and future.
Atem says her work explores her relationship with the city of Melbourne and Australia, when forming the sense of belonging to a place.
“I’m interested in the relationships between people, our connection with the natural and built environments, and how this is interwoven with the visual signs and symbols that define our histories. With the work I have developed for Hanover House, I’m interested in the aesthetics of 1970s Australian homes and have chosen to reference the intimacy of those spaces by creating a wallpaper pattern reminiscent of late 20th-century living room walls,” she says.
“Neon has a long history in pop and conceptual art; using new LED technology enables a more sustainable way to evoke nostalgia for this classic neon imagery. This also speaks to a time when Hanover House was one of the tallest buildings in Southbank,” she said.
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the works signify yet another milestone for the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
“I’m excited to see Outdoor Living light up our city, and continue to enrich Melbourne’s reputation as the arts capital of Australia,” she says.
“Atong Atem has created a visual representation of what Melbourne means to her, and I believe we can all find some connection with her work - whether it be a connection to nature, city or a sense of belonging.
“The transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct continues to prove itself as a major drawcard for our city.”
Futurecity Ltd were approached by Buelah to create the artwork, with the brief to showcasing Beulah’s commitment to sustainability, wellness and technology by incorporating low-VOC and low-energy consumption materials.
Beulah Executive Director Adelene Teh says the mural not only acts as a test for the public Art Inspirations for the future development, but to showcase how art and culture can enhance and enrich daily life.
“Atong’s piece is the first installation in our 6-month BETA programme and we are thrilled with the end result; it is bold, exciting and fresh and has really helped to transform the cityscape in Southbank.
“We hope Atong’s artwork can help to bring some joy and life back into the Melbourne CBD after what has been a challenging time for the arts industry and the city more generally.”
Atong’s artwork can be viewed on Hanover House, located at 158 City Road, Southbank. To find out more about Melbourne’s flourishing arts, residential precinct and the highly anticipated landmark STH BNK By Beulah, please visit sthbnk.com.