Martin George 700cm x 80cm x 80cm, painted steel
I wanted to create a narrative that captured transition, one featuring a connectivity between the old and new Dandenongs.
My inspiration came at Kabul Jewelry, a shop in the heart of the town with row after row of bright yellow gold chains, thick, ostentatious and showy. In ancient cultures brought to Dandenong by older generations from across the world, a visible display of status and wealth.
The ostentatious gold chain represents new money, the new Dandenong. But in another way, chains bind things together and so old and new Dandenong are bound together, their fates shared. Chains also bear tension, this is acknowledged but the chain, like the community and the town will bear the force and remain together. In having the final link broken I wanted to leave open the opportunity of freedom but also the threat of division. Ultimately, it will be the community that decide if this symbol is ominous or hopeful.
It is interacting with its environment but apart from it. The opulent and indulgent fat gold links shine in contrast against the sleek, modern yet utilitarian streetscape. Just as the chain approaches the lamppost the repetition of links is broken with the final length snapped. Gold Bling oscillates between sincerity and irony, Bling’s sensibility has a hopefulness and cheek, where one doesn’t negatively impact on the other [i].
Gold Bling by Martin George Halpin Way Dandenong, photographed by Mark Wilson
1. [i] Timotheus Vermeulen & Robin van den Akker in ‘Notes on metamodernism’, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 2, 2010