31 January 2017
Victorian contemporary artist Reko Rennie has created an artwork the size of an Olympic swimming pool on the foundations of the Lyon Housemuseum expansion in Kew.
The extraordinary 44 x 20 metre artwork will be visible in its entirety for a short time, prior to the new museum being constructed over it.
Called Visible Invisible, the work is Rennie's largest single painting to date. Using over 600 litres of Dulux paint, the work combines the iconography of Rennie's Aboriginal Kamilaroi heritage with elements of graffiti, subverting romantic notions of Aboriginal identity.
'This is indeed the most ambitious and challenging work I have ever created in terms of the scale and time frame. This work turns the tradition role of camouflage on its head, using it to amplify, rather than conceal my identity, and to stake my claim to a luminous, commanding form of cultural visibility,' Rennie said.
Due to open mid-2018, the expanded Lyon Housemuseum will offer a new platform for works of contemporary art, architecture and design in Melbourne. The project has been supported with a $14.5 million donation by the Lyon family trust.
Corbett Lyon commented: 'We wanted to rethink the foundation laying for the new museum. I was struck by the idea of painting a large image over the whole of the foundation, and then progressively covering it up; a bit like the 'Lost Leonardo' in Florence. Artist Reko Rennie was very enthusiastic and has produced a truly spectacular work. The title, Visible Invisible perfectly captures the idea.'
When the museum opens in 2018, a portion of the painting will remain visible, hinting at the colossal artwork lying beneath.
The artwork is currently visible from the street. The work and Housemuseum are also open to the general public by appointment.