Acland Street Village Suspended Art Installation

St Kilda, Melbourne

The Tensile team loves working on art installations in public spaces, and the vibrant “WeAVE of Colour” project in Acland Street St. Kilda was no exception!

The playful temporary artwork installation is a co-creation of several partners, and bringing it to life was very much a collaborative affair.

It was made possible through a partnership between the City of Port Phillip ReImagine grant program, the Slow Art Collective, Village Well, local school communities and Tensile Design & Construct.

Our role was to suspend the 60 fabric hoops over the Acland Street mall, where shoppers, pedestrians, cyclists and diners congregate.

The challenges

The design team decided to use the street’s existing tram poles for the suspension in order to save costs. This presented us with a few challenges!

Getting approval to use the existing poles was in itself an arduous task. We were also bounded by some strict structural limitations, including load levels within the constraints of the poles.

Since the artwork is only temporary, the suspension system needed to be easily dismantled at the end of the display period.

Fortunately, the Tensile team is never too fazed by a challenge! We came up with a solution to meet the client requirements and allow the artwork to shine through, rather than it being dominated or dictated to by the structural supports.

The solution

To suspend the piece, we designed and installed a cable netting system made from 6mm stainless steel wire.

The use of tension structures in projects can often make for a very fast installation, and this one was no exception. In fact the installation only took two days.

The netting system is also designed to allow for easy dismantling of the piece without any trace of it ever having been there. It’s near-transparency makes sure the artwork is the star of the show.

This type of solution is only possible with tension structures. For example, if steel was used to suspend the work, it would be heavy in appearance as well as very costly.

The finished project

The installation added layers of playful colour to the space, especially in the way the fabric tendrils hanging from the hoops swayed and rippled in the wind.

Village Well referred to the hoops as “fabric lampshades that sway hypnotically in the breeze”, while Port Phillip ReImagine Designs described the installation as providing a “virtual roof” to Acland Plaza, creating an inviting place for resting and meeting.

ReImagine also described how the co-creators set out to make a public statement by changing our way of looking at existing spaces through layers of colour and intricacies.

One thing is for certain – it made a very bright and bold statement that you couldn’t fail to miss on a visit to Acland Village!

Selected Clients