Public sculpture is making a comeback according to Melbourne based sculptor Konstantin Dimopoulos.
“Public sculpture has had a renaissance, some time ago it was quite, no one was commissioning large public sculpture.”
His most recent work Ripples and Journeys, commissioned by Glen Waverly council, works with the notion of water as a means of centralising the community.
“My work had to complement a Harry Seidler building, it’s a historic building with a pool, or water reservoir in the centre the building,” says Dimopoulos.
“It has a kind or a funnel that pours from the roof into a pool in the centre of the building.”
Ripples and Journeys is for Dimopoulos symbolic of the ‘village well or fountain’ as a meeting place and adds voice to the many journeys people have made to Australia.
“I like the idea of a sculpture in harmony with the building, it reflects and respects the architecture, I use performance composite and its very strong and does not rust,” says Dimopoulos.
The sculpture works as a visual fable which relates to the city’s diverse cultures and communities.
“The water plunging into the pool below and the individual droplets rising and then falling randomly into the water creating ripples, then grow outwards and join other ripples creating a wider pattern on the water” adds Dimopoulos.
“In many respects its what the Greeks and Romans did in the ancient times, which is to make the pool, or reservoir the centre and to have the sculpture to work with the architecture in harmony.”
Important to him is the economic and social impact of public sculpture even though he is aware of the fact that public art relies on the caprice of policy and ideology, or blandness by committee.
“Sculpture is an addition to community, the reason Melbourne is a vibrant city with advances in its medical, engineering, business and building and other areas, is in part due to art, some good some bad.”
The polis is central to Dimopoulos’ thinking as an artist, it is the embodiment of creative, scientific and cultural development.
Currently public sculpture and public art are in focus internationally. Dimopoulos has been commissioned to create work in Denver, Boston, Abu Dhabi, and of course Canberra and Melbourne.
“Things have changed globally, municipalities across the world are commissioning sculpture as they see the art as a way of rejuvenating communities and economies.”
Dimopoulos has a dramatic view of history.
“The investment by Greeks and Romans 2000 years ago was an investment immemorial.”
All that investment was by the cities of the time, even Plutarch alerts us to the fact that Pericles had opposition to the building of the Parthenon and the statue of Athena.
Yet as Dimopoulos says now, “Now, most people go to Rome and to Greece to see these sculptures and architecture.”
For more information in Konstantin Dimopoulos www.kondimopoulos.com