Urban Artscape at Brady Road
Artist: Zabelski Han
The Brady Road Shopping Centre enjoys a high profile due to its location on an important link between Stud Road and Gladstone Road.
The shopping strip has a history of high occupancy rates and features vast and expansive pavement areas, however the site was grey-looking, bland and devoid of any visual appeal.
The rejuvenation project presented an opportunity to build on the strengths of the shopping centre and create a distinctive setting for the pleasure of shoppers and traders.
The Brady Road area presents itself as a normal suburban neighbourhood. Houses built on suburban blocks and carefully kept front yards are a key feature of the urban landscape. The good times that can be had working in the garden, tinkering with the car, going down the street are all part of daily life in North Dandenong.
This rich suburban character was seen as a source of inspiration for the project and led to a series of elements designed to celebrate those aspects of local life.
The City of Greater Dandenong commissioned artists from Zabelski Han to develop innovative ideas to rejuvenate the Brady Road shopping centre.
Zabelski Han was established in 2000 by Velislav Georgiev, a sculptor, and writer Victoria Roxburgh. They have successfully undertaken similar projects and specialise in creating team-based, collaborative artworks to improve the visual appeal of public spaces.
The footpath design was constructed using two distinctly different coloured materials - bitumen and coloured cement. The design runs across the entire footpath area with stone slabs and ceramic tiles symbolising windows and bringing to life the idea of a suburban skyline.
A grouping of trees at the Victor Avenue end of the centre offers a curious blend of real and sculptural forms. Materials including recycled power poles and mild steel were carefully formed into fruit trees bearing fruit gilded with gold. The sculptural trees are nestled amongst Maple trees, which will offer a spectacular autumn show of colour.
Surburban iconic images were the inspiration for a series of three weather vanes. They spin freely in the breeze and are designed to catch the eye of passing motorists. On closer inspection, the materials of copper, stainless steel and timber can be admired. The weather vanes depict three everyday scenes of hanging out the washing, working on the car and mowing the lawn.
Planter boxes hand carved from Mount Gambier Limestone form the base of each weather vane and act as seats and garden barriers.