The initial brief called for an artwork that responded to the history of the Old St Kilda Post Office site, the sense of community of the area, and was sympathetic to both the Heritage and new architecture.

We saw this commission as an opportunity to create a work that conceptually and physically “bridges” the old site and the new, allowing for a more cohesive and dynamic whole.

In reading the histories of the site and viewing historical images we were struck by the vast river of individual stories that have flowed through the Old St Kilda Post Office.The site has acted as a two way interface between the local community and the world for many, many years.

We found that we were continually being caught up in individual threads as we researched this project but felt that we needed to design an artwork that was broadly inclusive and spoke to the whole tapestry of the area. In our concept, hand written script evokes a personal, individual correspondence. The layering of these scripts abstracts them into a  rich unified texture and obscures all identifiable detail whilst still having the feel of a personal hand crafted moment.

Through developing the layering of the written word we found that certain rhythms began to emerge and this led us to a point where the whole began to resemble the waves of the sea, an inextricable dimension of St Kilda’s ethos. The abstraction of the written forms enables this aspect of the work to be read on both a purely textural and timeless level and this allows the old and new architecture - the past and the present, to claim ownership and relevance.

The sculptural element of the dip pen echoes the Classicism of the original architecture and speaks strongly as a monumental relic from history.  It also represents a very personal article; the interface for much of history between a person’s thoughts and the outside world - the medium through which thoughts and lives were shared.

The verticality and placement of this part of the composition introduces a rhythmic line between the old Post Office and the taller new development. Its scale and appearance of floating poised above the viewer create a surreal and dreamlike dislocation from the everyday and the expected.

This artwork moves away from the traditional context of a pedestal based sculpture that is anchored to the ground and in doing so, takes advantage of the full span of the new courtyard.


memoranda - detail - old st kilda post office, melbourne - stainless steel, industrial paint - 5 m x 5 m x 9 m  - 2013

The above image shows some of the computer generated pre-visualisation artwork produced during the development of the concept in response to the brief. This artwork enabled us to accurately convey ideas to all stakeholders in the project during the development stage.