Victoria Park, the former home of the Collingwood Football Club, has been transformed into a major community recreation space.
Council and the Australian Government jointly funded a $7.2 million redevelopment of the Abbotsford ground. Works were completed in late 2011.
As part of the redevelopment, Council commissioned multiple works of public art. The intention of these artworks was to recognise the park’s important history and provide interesting and educational focal points for park visitors.
Strata of Memory – Eliza Greenhatch & Partners
This work is incorporated into the entrance steps and ramp wall within the plaza at the corner of Turner and Bath Streets.
Strata of Memory traces the history of the site from the Wurundjeri people’s past and present connection to the land through to the early development of the suburb and the oval, the birth of the Collingwood Football Club and the evolution of Victoria Park as the heart of the local community.
In collaboration with aboriginal artists Judy Nicholson and James Symon, a large component of the work tells a story of connection to Country, life by the Yarra River in the Dreamtime for the Wurundjeri tribe and the coming together of the Kulin clans to play the traditional game of marngrook.
Other collaborators include stencil artist Kirpy and sign writer Brett Kellet. Key sources for this work were the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council Incorporated and the Collingwood Historical Society.
For the Love of It
This site-inspired sound piece is installed in the second pedestrian walkway under the Sherrin Stand. The social aspects of sport and play are explored through various field recordings made by the artist.
Personal memories of Victoria Park are simultaneously featured through recorded interviews with individuals associated with the sports ground and local area over its long history.
Speeches, poetry and songs can also be heard.
Many of the topics and recordings are intimately connected with Victoria Park whilst others explore the essence and influence of sport in a broader perspective.
This is a changing piece which is designed to be encountered again and again.
The Final Siren – Anderson Hunt
The Final Siren is a large scale interactive steel sculpture inspired by the form and imagery of the ground’s former scoreboards and clocks.
Positioned on top of the iconic One-Eyed Hill, the work seeks to express the spirit and history of the place, game and fans.
The stylised wing and colours acknowledge the Collingwood Football Club and evoke the passion and loyalty of the supporters who took pride of place on the hill.
Points of View – Futago
Five interpretive panels have been installed around the perimeter of the oval.
Each panel explores a different theme in Victoria Park’s vibrant history, such as the early history of the ground and club, female involvement in the club and establishment of the Ladies Stands, and the devotion of Collingwood fans.
Each panel also acts as a pin board on one side with archival photographs, cartoons and humorous or nostalgic ephemera.