Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Diversity sculpture leaves its mark on Geelong town hall

A sculpture celebrating people with a lived experience with disability arrived at the Geelong West Town Hall on Monday with the help of a crane truck.

‘I AM’ recognises the empowerment of diversity and draws from political and pop culture statements such as the 1968 Memphis black sanitation workers slogan “I AM a man”, and Helen Reddy’s 1971 anthem “I AM woman”, Greater Geelong Council said in a statement following the sculpture’s arrival.

At more than two metres tall, the public artwork was designed to be relocated around the municipality and has previously been installed at the Geelong Waterfront and Austin Park.

“I AM is a joyful and informative piece in Council’s public art collection,” said Mayor, Trent Sullivan.

“This artwork not only celebrates people who live with a disability, but it gives them a voice.

“I AM offers the opportunity to connect with the broader community about inclusivity and how diversity benefits us all,” he said.

Council commissioned Mark Cuthbertson with artist-collaborators Robert Croft, Hannah Wilkinson, Christian Den Besten and George Macaronis to develop the large-scale work, with more than 85 contributions from the community.

Funded by the Victorian Government through the Community Support Fund, I AM was delivered in partnership with VALiD (Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disabilities) and Geelong-based ArtGusto.

Deputy Mayor and Chair of Council’s Volunteering and Disability portfolio, Anthony Aitken; Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens; lead artist, Mark Cuthbertson, and project participants formally welcomed the inclusive artwork to Geelong West.

“Each letter in the sculpture weighs around four tonnes. I AM was designed to be relocatable so that awareness can be raised across Greater Geelong around the important concepts it conveys,” said Cr Aitken.

“It’s also designed to invite community members to be a part of the work by positioning yourself within and taking photos, joining others in the region who celebrate diversity.”

I AM can be found outside the Geelong West Town Hall at 153 Pakington Street, Geelong West until October. Visitors can use the hashtag #IAMGeelong when posting photos to social media.

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