About Plinth Projects

Plinth Projects was an artist-run public art program, engaging the empty plinth at the centre of Melbourne's Edinburgh Gardens in the exhibition of temporary public works. Operating from March 2013 until April 2014, the program featured ten specially-commissioned artworks by a diverse range of artists.

The plinth

The plinth dates to 1901, when it was erected along with a wooden statue of Queen Victoria in commemoration of her death earlier that year. The statue sat in the middle of a garden bed of roses and cabbage palms, at the centre of the Gardens the monarch had established with a grant of land in 1862.

After reportedly falling down, the statue went missing in mysterious circumstances. The plinth remained empty and the area fell into disrepair. Since the reconstruction of the garden bed from photographic evidence in 1972, the plinth has continued to hold court—albeit quietly—over one of the largest parks in inner Melbourne.

The program

Plinth Projects was conceived as an artist-run alternative to traditional large-scale public art commissions. Our goal was to curate a program of short-term exhibitions that were temporary, provocative, and engaging for both art-going audiences and the picnicking public. We were particularly interested in commissioning works by artists who had not previously worked outdoors or at such a large scale.

The program featured ten exhibitions over a fourteen-month period, concluding at the end of April 2014. We presented monthly exhibitions during Edinburgh Gardens' more habitable months, and an evolving five-month-long exhibition over the 2013 winter period. New exhibitions were celebrated with Opening Picnics, held on the first Sunday afternoon of the month and open to everyone.

The people behind the plinth

Plinth Projects Inc. is a not-for-profit association run by a small committee, which has included:

Sam George

Carla McKee

Dan Miller

Jeremy Pryles

Ben Ryan

Isabelle Sully

Community support

Plinth Projects was supported by the Yarra City Council through the Arts Development stream of its 2013 Community Grants program, and its 2013/2014 Small Project Grants program. We are also grateful to the team at Deco Wine Bar for its generous support of our opening picnics.

Oscar Perry, Harvest Showdown / Early Classics, Hits and Rarities  2013
Installation view, Plinth Projects, Opening Picnic, 3 March 2013. Photo: Kobie Nel