You may have seen the concrete bollards installed on Melbourne’s streets over the last couple of weeks, as a safety precaution following a spate of terror attacks in cities around the world, and the Bourke Street massacre.
The raw concrete cubes are temporary measures, to be replaced at a future date by a “network of permanent or retractable bollards”. They are functional, yes. Aesthetically pleasing? No. So it was inevitable that someone might try to improve them.
That someone is David Gray, an artist who took it upon himself to cover some of the bollards at Southern Cross station with brightly coloured, stripy material.
"I measured it surreptitiously with my little bright pink measuring tape a couple of days ago,” he told the ABC. He used his mother’s sewing machine to stitch together scraps of material from the 1990s, which he’d collected while working with the gay and lesbian rights lobby.
Today another bollard was transformed, this time covered with polka dots.
The “bollart” is catching on, with Melburnians voicing their support on social media, and some even calling for the government to commission artists to decorate them.
Even in the last couple of hours another creation has shown up, this time in Bourke Street Mall.
While the bollards have become an unexpected platform for creatives, others have found their own uses for them: the little divots in the top apparently look like ashtrays.
Melbourne City Council has given no timeframe as to when the bollards will be removed and replaced.