‘Dear Agnes’ contemporary public art program

Dear Agnes - Matto Lucas

The ‘Dear Agnes’ contemporary public art program featured site-responsive works by 12 artists and collectives for nine days over three weeks in March 2023.

The artworks and public programming responded and paid homage to local landscape-inspired themes and 'A Forest for Australia', a land artwork by one of the world's leading environmental artists, New York-based Agnes Denes, commissioned as part of 'The Bridge' in 1998.

In 1998, Denes was invited by the International Artists’ Museum (Melbourne office) to collaborate on a new project, The Bridge (Construction in Process IV). What resulted was a ‘forest’ of 6000 endangered tree species planted into five spirals at the Greater Western Water Site on Queen Street, Altona Meadows.

To celebrate the artwork's 25th anniversary, the ‘Dear Agnes’ project brought to light the work of this prolific artist, and also provided an ongoing legacy through the generation of new ideas by contemporary public artists in response to Denes’ work.

A series of public programs including artists talks, creative workshops, live music and tours of the 'A Forest for Australia' artwork site were presented alongside the exhibition.

Exhibiting artists:

Michelle Cox, Chispa Flaskas, Natasha Gardos, Ainslie Peverell & Meg Stewart-Snoad, Caleb Hardy & Jess Phillips, David Murphy, Amal Laala, Overlapping Collective - Forest Keegel & Annee Miron, James Price, PIPS - Catherine Magill & Vivienne Tate, Ana Sanchez, Autumn Tansey, Victoria Vyvyan


This project was presented by Hobsons Bay City Council in partnership with Deakin University, RMIT University and Greater Western Water.

For more information including photos and artist bios, please visit @_dear_agnes on Instagram. 


Image: Agnes Denes, A Forest for Australia 1998, Altona Meadows. Image credit: Matto Lucas

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