Duncan Stemler, Melbourne Docklands VIC

Standing 15 metres high, Blowhole by Sydney artist Duncan Stemler is one of Australia’s largest kinetic artworks – a mesmerising sight with hundreds of anodised aluminium moving parts. It is a powerful combination of complex engineering and art.

In collaboration with Axel Arnott, Creative Road’s Rebecca Townsend was contracted by Sculpture by the Sea to project manage this major kinetic artwork for one of Melbourne’s significant public places. The role involved working closely with the artist to develop a proposal for a competitive limited tender process. Following a successful tender bid, Rebecca co-project managed the complex design development phase which included fabrication of a one arm/one cup prototype.

As the wind blows through, armature and cups interact with each other to form a multitude of patterns, colours and shadows. It is the central feature of Melbourne’s Docklands development and is located in the heart of a busy children’s playground. Installed with LED lighting in coloured “cups” the artwork comes alive at night. Blowhole remains a formidable kinetic sculpture in the South Melbourne skyline. Complex engineering with many moving parts demonstrate the commitment to its robust design life.