Public art has always been significant within the art world, especially amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a working practice of site specificity, community involvement and collaboration.
Architect Murray Barker and artist Laith McGregor collaborated on a project that transforms sculptural objects in to functional pieces that could be used for recreational purposes. Monoliths is a series of three sets of tables, which includes a Ping Pong table and a bench. The tables are made of concrete with copper inlaid details and bead-blasted stainless steel nets.
“The project evolved through numerous conversations while drawing collaboratively in the studio and over social games in public spaces in Europe and Australia.” Architect Murray Barker explains.
Created for the Monash University Museum of Art, the concrete objects are grouped together to create interactive gathering hubs in outdoor social spaces. The works are perceived as enigmatic sculptural forms, built to elucidate the weight of the object in relation to the surrounding urban landscape, and conforming to standard dimensions for recreational playability.
Copper inlay details (Photography by Christian Capurro)
The design of the copper detailing followed on from McGregor’s studio practice and builds upon the regulatory line markings of the typical ping pong table. Various concrete finishes and aggregates have been used, including rope lined-formwork, sandblasting, and polished concrete. The copper inlay is designed to patina over time.
Bead blasted stainless steel net details (Photography by Christian Capurro)
Photography by Abigail Varney