A Visual Journey in Chromatic Rhythms

The deeper you look, the more you find. The longer you take, the deeper you understand

Dean Stewart, 2020

TEMPORARY PUBLIC ART

“A Visual Journey in Chromatic Rhythms” is an artistic initiative funded through the Hobsons Bay City Council Community Support Package – New Art stream.

NEW ART is a funding stream aimed at celebrating and supporting local arts; where creatives, artists and community activate spaces and precincts across the city, where people can engage with, experience and enjoy.

Commissioned in the project was Carlos Almenar Diaz who has created two artworks from his Chromatic Rhythms series which is part of his research in interaction between line, pattern and colour.

Through this immersive, captivating, colourful and optical experience you observe and move through the artwork, and you’re invited to take the time to pause for a moment, acknowledge your response and feelings allowing yourself to connect with the surrounding environment.

Imagine this environment, what it was, what it will become and what you want it to be now. Close your eyes to immerse yourself and connect with this land.

This public art commission embraces a comprehensive process covering exploration of optical effects through the use of colour and rhythm, on site research, investigation of the Southern Volcanic Plain grasslands’ native wildflowers, and consultation with Hobsons Bay City Council.

Analogous and complementary colour integrated in Chromatic Rhythms

With the support of curator Yohann Naviere, they investigated the Southern Volcanic Plain grasslands indigenous plants and colours composition. The Southern Volcanic Plain native grasslands are a threatened ecosystem, from which only 2% of the original vegetation survive. They also studied Hobsons Bay’s coastline, saltmarshes and local wetlands indigenous vegetation. 

The vast grasslands, covered by indigenous grasses, tussocks and shrubs, offered a lush background to an endless display of blooming wildflowers, in Spring and Summer, encompassing immense meadows, along creeks, valleys and meandering around trees.

You will be introduced to a selection of local species, we hope that you will continue your walk further and discover Hobsons Bay’s significant ecosystems, marine areas, wetlands, woodlands and grasslands.

To learn more about indigenous wildflowers and how to care for them, we encourage you to connect with local groups and organisations who care for this unique and beautiful environment.

We are all the newest custodians and caretakers of these ancient lands which we now call home.

Dean Stewart, 2020

Temporary public art installations

G.H. Ransom Reserve in Altona

Corner Grieve Parade & Queen Street, a stone’s throw away from the beach.

Paine Reserve in Newport

Between Mason & Derwent Streets, right next to the Newport Community Hub.

Chromatic Rhythms artwork, botanical colour in the Altona environment

Green

Green mirrors the Western Volcanic Plains incredible variety of indigenous grasses (such as Wallaby grass and Kangaroo grass), trees (such as Wattles and Sheoaks), bushes and shrubs from our environment’s grasslands, coastline and wetlands.

Source: Grasslands – Biodiversity of South-Eastern Australia
Image: © Biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains

Red

Austral Sea-Blite (Suaeda australis), is a bushy succulent shrub common in saline environments such as saltmarshes, coastlines and swamps. It has fleshy, narrow leaves and tiny flowers. The foliage colour ranges from green to red and purple.

Source: Hobsons Bay City Council
Image: © almenardiaz

Orange

Small-leaved Eutaxia (Eutaxia microphylla) is usually a prostrate plant with small, fine, grey-green foliage. The yellow and red pea flowers in profusion in spring give an orange-coloured impression to your eyes. A common groundcover species in Grasslands, Grey Box and red Gum Woodlands. Flowers September to November.

Source: “Plants of Melbourne’s Western Plains”, ASP Keilor Plains
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Blair, Neil)

Light blue

Native Flax (Linum marginale) has blue-green narrow leaves and delicate blue flowers. It is an important plant for many Aboriginal people; Wurundjeri people strip the stems and beat them to free the fibre to make string for cord and fish nets. The oily, yellowish seeds are edible and can be collected in Summer and Autumn; they are similar to linseed with a nutty flavour. Flowers September to March.

Source: “Indigenous Plant Use”, Zena Cumpston
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Brown, A.J.)

Black

Black echoes the basalt rocks scattered over the Western Volcanic Plains and local coastline, a result of extensive volcanic activity that began 4.5 million years ago until about 10,000 years ago. You can see them along the coastline, creeks banks and plains. A good example of this typical landscape is the Emu Foot Grassland conservation area, near Skeleton Creek in Altona Meadows.

Source: Biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains
Photo: © almenardiaz

Chromatic Rhythms artwork, botanical colour in the Newport environment

Green

Green mirrors the Western Volcanic Plains incredible variety of indigenous grasses (such as Wallaby grass and Kangaroo grass), trees (such as wattles and sheoaks), bushes and shrubs from our environment’s grasslands, coastline and wetlands. 

Source: Grasslands – Biodiversity of South-Eastern Australia
Image: © Biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains

Red

Running Postman (Kennedia prostrata) is an attractive trailing groundcover with soft, green, clover-like leaves and large, showy, scarlet-red pea flowers in spring. The flowers are rich in nectar and attractive to honeyeaters. Flowers August to November.

Source: “Plants of Melbourne’s Western Plains”, ASP Keilor Plains
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Blair, Neil)

Orange

Showy Parrot-Pea (Dillwynia sericea) is a low-growing shrub making a beautiful splash of colour in spring with orange and red pea flowers. Flowers from September to December.

Source: “Plants of Melbourne’s Western Plains”, ASP Keilor Plains
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Lay, Geoff)

Yellow

Murnong or Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) is the true Aussie dandelion. An indigenous herb with beautiful and elegant arching bright yellow flowers. Once it was so prolific that hundreds of kilometres of Victoria, particularly out west, were covered in a sea of yellow every spring. The nutritious Murnong taproot was as common a food traditionally as potatoes are for us today. These plants fed Aboriginal families for thousands and thousands of years.

Source: “Lost Lands Found”, Dean Stewart
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Karunajeewa, N.G.)

Light Blue

Tufted Bluebells (Wahlenbergia capillaris) has tiny blue flowers that seem to last forever. It doesn’t matter that they are tiny because the plant can grow in large mats with thousands of flowers. That’s because they produce suckers (roots sprouts). Flowers October to May.

Source: Friends of Skeleton Creek
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Blair, Neil)

Dark Blue

Blue Devil (Eryngium ovinum), an excellent name as they have stunning metallic blue flowers and devilish, spiky leaves. Over autumn and winter their taproots are sleeping underground. The spring flowers are visited by flies and native bees. Flowers November to February. 

Source: Friends of Skeleton Creek
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Annabel Carle)

Light Purple

Emu Foot or Tough Scurf-pea (Cullen tenax) is a rare low growing plant which hides among the rocks. Their leaves look a little like the footprint left behind by an emu. They have bundles of lilac pea flowers. These trailing slender plants live in the crevice between rocks. Like many other grassland plants, they are classified as threatened in Victoria. Flowers October to February. 

Source: Friends of Skeleton Creek
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Jeanes, Jeff)

Dark Purple

Chocolate Lily (Arthropodium strictum) gets its name from its purple flowers, which on sunny days emit a smell of chocolate and sometimes also smell much like vanilla and caramel. It has grass-like leaves with edible root tubers, which are white inside and are roasted before being eaten. Chocolate Lily can be found growing in grasslands and grassy woodlands across much of south-eastern Australia. Flowers October to December.

Source: “Indigenous Plant Use”, Zena Cumpston
Image: © VicFlora, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Annabel Carle)

Black

Black echoes the basalt rocks scattered over the Western Volcanic Plains and local coastline, a result of extensive volcanic activity that began 4.5 million years ago until about 10,000 years ago. You can see them along the coastline, creeks banks and plains. A good example of this typical landscape is the Emu Foot Grassland conservation area, near Skeleton Creek in Altona Meadows.

Source: Grasslands – Biodiversity of South-Eastern Australia
Image: © almenardiaz
Links to sources and resources

These artworks were exhibited from mid-October 2022 to end of February 2023.

If you want to know the art of almenardiaz, follow him on instagram.