Melbourne’s trams are getting a schmick creative facelift as part of this year’s Melbourne Festival. The Melbourne Art Trams program has revealed the new designs that will transform eight of the city’s trams into eye-catching artworks.
This year the trams will be spruced up by seven different artists, including Hayley Millar-Baker, Oslo Davis, Nick Howson, Stephen Baker, Oli Ruskidd, Troy Innocent and Valerie Tang. For the first time, one of the eight Melbourne Art Trams will also feature a recreation of a David Larwill artwork that featured in the similar Transporting Art program that ran in Melbourne from 1978 to 1993.
If some of the designs seem familiar, you’re not wrong. Richmond commuters will recognise Nick Howson’s style from his Tiger Legend mural at Richmond Station, and readers of The Monthly, The Age and Meanjin will be familiar with the illustrations of Oslo Davis. Stephen Baker is the artist behind the mural at Fitzroy Swimming Pool, while Oli Ruskidd has created numerous works of street art throughout Melbourne.
One of this year’s standout designs comes from artist and academic Troy Innocent, who has created a geometric, interactive design that comes to life when viewed through augmented reality app via a smartphone.
The Melbourne Art Trams for 2018 also features a design exploring Indigenous connections to country, flora and fauna thanks to Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker. Year 9 Mount Waverley student Valerie Tang has also created a bright, abstract design about multiculturalism for the program.
The 2018 Melbourne Art Trams will start rolling out into the city from October 4 and will remain active until early 2019.