Aboriginal artwork to cover new train

Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson from Hampton Park created this artwork on one of the new Melbourne trains, which will pass through Pakenham and Cranbourne.

The first new high capacity train to hit the tracks will also be the Melbourne’s longest moving canvas, with artworks by local Aboriginal artists and collectives shortlisted to cover the state-of-the-art train.

Four Victorian First Peoples artists and collectives are in the running to create a unique artwork for the first High Capacity Metro Train (HCMT), which will start running on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines this year.

The shortlisted artists are Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson from Hampton Park, Kirrae Whurrong woman Fiona Clarke from Warrnambool, Boon Wurrung man Adam Magennis from Mornington, and a Ballarat-based mob of three Koori men, Pitcha Makin Fellas, who belong to different language groups.

One of the designs features colourful clock faces to demonstrate the rich history of Aboriginal people while others use symbols to represent iconic Melbourne landmarks such as the MCG, different layers of Wurundjeri Country, and the many cultures of the Kulin Nations.

Each artist boasts a rich catalogue of work – including working on Commonwealth Games and White Night Melbourne – and have demonstrated they can produce vibrant, high quality and unique designs that will work on the train’s 160-metre-long canvas.

The winning design will be selected later this month by a panel featuring representatives from Victorian First Peoples communities, before a full-scale design suitable for the first train is developed and commissioned.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the cultures and histories of Victoria’s Aboriginal community by showcasing local Aboriginal artwork on the first of Melbourne’s new bigger, better trains,” Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said.

“These new trains will carry more passengers with every trip and support more services right across the network.”