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Public art – Big Picture School

Four mosaic figures at the entrance to the school

About

Workers Monument features four figures – a dancer, a jockey, a blue-collar worker and a white-collar worker. Each figure is about 2 metres tall, designed to create a visual presence on a busy highway location. The figures stand on a circular plinth, facing towards the North.

This workers monument celebrates the lives of ordinary people and is the antithesis of a Soviet-era workers monument, which typically featured strong and heroic figures, both muscular and monochromatic. In the middle of the circular plinth is a debossed brass disc, which references a style of imagery and typeface from the Soviet era. The text on the plaque reads ”Workers of the world unite and rise up as one!”

The vocational program being offered by the Big Picture School allows students to pursue their strengths and interests with support from local industry and mentors. This sculpture alludes to the different ‘skins’ that young people try on as they establish a clear sense of who they are and where they are headed as future ‘workers’.

This work is part of the Tasmanian government’s public art collection commissioned through the Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme.

Artist

Tony Woodward is an arts educator and artist working in the area of public art.

Tony’s public art career began in 1999 with the completion of Frida’s Carload for the Moonah Arts Centre. His whimsical sculptures feature in public landscapes across Tasmania, including schools, parks, health care facilities and shopping precincts. His work explores the interaction between humanity, nature and the built environment and features iconic images such as cars, clouds, mountains, rivers and cities.

Woodward is interested in humour as an expressive form and often includes wordplay into the conceptual development of each artwork. His sculptures are often interactive and designed so that people, particularly children, can climb and play on the artwork.

Woodward uses glass mosaics as an element to decorate sculptural forms. Recently he has explored the illustrative qualities of this medium to create visual narratives by using combinations of colour and pattern onto the forms he creates.

As a teacher and community artist, Woodward has worked extensively with young people on a range of community arts projects. He received the Premier’s Westfield Education Scholarship in 2004 and the Hardie Fellowship in 2005. In 2013 he received the Alcorso Foundation Italian Residency. The focus for this residency was to further extend his range of mosaic techniques and to investigate significant mosaic sites in Italy, including Roman and Byzantine art and the world famous Tarot Garden by Nikki De Saint Phalle.


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Public art – Big Picture School

Timsbury Road, Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia

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