Bass Coast Shire Council, Media Release, 21 May 2021
The community of Newhaven will soon be the custodians of a significant sculpture, created by renowned Australian artist, Geoffrey Bartlett.
Bass Coast Shire Council holds an annual Public Art Program, which is guided by Council’s Sites and Themes Plan and this year’s instalment is Newhaven. Mr Bartlett’s work was selected by a Selection Panel made up of local community members, members of the Newhaven Residents and Ratepayers Association, local artists and members of Council’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. The Expression of Interest for the Newhaven Public Art Commission was open nationally, to suitably experienced artists.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, explained that each year, Council’s Public Art Program funds a new piece of public art.
“It’s wonderful to have a program dedicated to investing in public artwork across the Shire, with a Council allocation of $50,000 per year committed to these fantastic initiatives,” Cr Tessari said.
“These artworks enhance the experience of a space for all who pass through, residents and visitors alike. Over time they become a part of the landscape, integrated into the community and our memories of that place.”
Mr Bartlett is an established artist with an international reputation. He has been practicing professionally for over 40 years. His sculptures are poetic constructions, made from robust metals. They are strong, elegant and durable.
Mr Bartlett has pieces on show across Australia and internationally and he has also lectured in Sculpture at numerous Victorian Universities.
“My proposal for the sculpture draws a connection between the past and present of the Newhaven precinct, through the poetic interpretation of the local maritime history,” Mr Bartlett said.
“The name for this sculpture, Alpha, pays homage to the first locally owned vessel, a cutter built in 1841. Alpha makes direct connections to the area’s maritime past, whilst communicating through its contemporary aesthetic with the area’s new and dynamic future.”