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Published November 27th 2014
Take a walk around the Riverbank and discover
The Adelaide City Council have recently released their Public Art Walking Guide which provides a practical walking map that highlights the significant historical and contemporary artworks in the Adelaide CBD.
So to see what this was all about, I packed the walking guide, camera and a bottle of water and commenced the walking trail around the Riverbank area of Adelaide.
Arguably the cultural precinct of Adelaide, the Riverbank area houses some 30 pieces of public art, of which I could locate all bar three of them. The three missing were located in the immediate area of Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment works and access was forbidden for safety reasons. I trust that these works may be in safe storage pending completion of all works.
Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC)
The ACC plays host to some of the larger and more practical pieces of public art. The Fractal Mandala by Greg Johns is an enormous steel sculpture installed in 2001, that resembles a large circular jigsaw piece. A bit further along the Riverbank Promenade are a series of stainless steel circular knitting balls known as Drift installed by George Popperwell in 2002. The most practical pieces are the multiple Khai Liew designed glass mosaic tiles and stainless steel benches sitting under the large shade structures. These benches and shade provide a great place to rest and review the Torrens Lake and beyond on a warm summer's day.
In the mid-1980's the Adelaide Station and Environs Property Trust built the Hotel, Riverside Building, Convention and Exhibition Centre above the Railway Station tracks. As part of this development, a number of significant pieces of art were arranged, and now take pride of place in and around the Intercontinental Hotel. The largest pieces are the back and white marble structures immediately outside the Hotel known as Elements and Being, by Japanese artist Akio Makigawa. Amongst the more unusual pieces is the piece known as Bronze Sculpture No. 714 by Robert Klippel.
By far the most amount of art and sculptures are around the Adelaide Festival Centre. With huge and colourful (albeit fading) monoliths from Otto Hajek to several stainless steel sculptures from Bert Flugelman to several pieces of indigenous art in the forecourt area, there are pieces of art that are often seen but not necessarily understood. A great talking and exploring piece for kids (of all ages) is the huge sundial on the upper balcony deck of the Festival Theatre. The working sundial (?) provides a great education piece as visitors can learn to tell the time via the sun's rays.