The latest addition to the Melbourne International Arts Festival program has just been announced. In October, eight Melbourne trams will receive shiny new designs.
This year’s typically colourful designs include an illustrated cross-section of a tram, exposing commuters, from the artist behind Richmond’s Tiger Legend mural, Nick Howson; a psychedelic abstract design from street artist Oli Ruskidd; bright cubist portraits from year nine student Valerie Tang; and the resurrection of late Australian artist David Larwill’s 1986 design, which he was commissioned to paint on a W-Class tram for the United Nations International Year of Peace.
Other works include a striking monochrome photo assemblage from Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker, featuring totemic representations of animals and rocks that reinforce a connection to country; and an interactive work from artist and academic Troy Innocent.
Innocent’s design is a graphic representation of “urban codemaking” that, when viewed through a phone camera using an augmented reality app, reveals new layers of sound and visuals as the tram passes.
Cartoonist Oslo Davis’s design will bring swimming to the city and local artist Stephen Baker’s series of geometric shapes will represent the city’s ever-changing cultural scene.
The first Melbourne Art Tram will be in service from October 4. All eight trains will remain on Melbourne streets until early 2019. You can nominate your favourite tram for the People’s Choice Award at festival.melbourne/arttrams.