Renowned interdisciplinary artist, Reko Rennie, has created a bold new artwork on a basketball court for Melbournians to enjoy in Southbank.
Titled ‘OA_Hardcourt’, the piece is an extension of Rennie’s Visible Invisible series which inverts the idea of camouflage.
Commissioned by diversified property developer, Time & Place, in conjunction with Hickory, OA_Hardcourt will take up residence on the team’s recently acquired site at 84-90 Queensbridge Street, Southbank ahead of its development which is slated for mid-2021.
Known as ‘Underpark’, the space will be open for budding basketballers to book free one-hour half-court sessions from 6 am – 8 pm daily and play on the art installation itself.
Rennie, who is known for combining stylistic elements of graffiti with the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage, was commissioned to bring his distinctive visual language to the court.
“I’m very honoured to create an artwork for the Underpark basketball court on the traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people,” said Rennie.
“The bold and bright camouflage design I created celebrates our visible cultural identity – where in the past camouflage has been used to conceal, here it proudly reveals a strong and vibrant cultural history.”
Time & Place Director, Tim Price, said: “We have followed Reko over the course of his career and see this collaboration as a meeting of two minds to achieve a single vision; the improvement of a neighbourhood through informed cultural expression.”
“We’ve taken cues from global examples of areas surrounding neglected infrastructure which have been identified and repurposed to deliver bold, exciting activations that can be enjoyed by the community and its visitors,” Mr Price shared.
“Reko has produced a vibrant, daring piece of work that speaks to the culture for which our city is known.”
“We also hope that the use of this space will open up a broader placemaking conversation with the City of Melbourne about the future use of the neighbouring Kings Way Undercroft and we welcome the public to contribute to this discussion via our Underpark website,” he added.
Whether its playing on the court itself or watching courtside from the bleachers, people are invited to interact with the space and make it their own.
The court will be active for a limited time only, with Time & Place looking to open up a broader conversation about the future of Underpark and how it can best serve the surrounding community.