I AM sculpture celebrates empowerment of diversity

Friday, 18 June 2021

Work is underway on a new public sculpture for Geelong, celebrating people of all abilities.

Almost 100 people living with a disability contributed to the design for the sculpture through a series of workshops delivered by the City.

The City engaged local sculptor Mark Cuthbertson to lead a small creative team, including Robert Croft, Hannah Wilkinson and George Macaronis, to come up with the final design.

The final result is I AM - a large-scale interactive artwork constructed of concrete and featuring engraved text and surface detailing inspired by participant responses in the workshops.

Drawing reference from powerful political and pop culture statements such as the 1968 Memphis black sanitation workers slogan “I AM a man”, and Helen Reddy’s 1971 anthem “I AM woman”, the work celebrates the empowerment of diversity in our society.

The work invites the viewer to be part of the work, and to proclaim, “I am …”. 

This interactive element allows the work to be modified for each individual and photographs will be gathered to form a collective voice expressing, “We are …”The artwork will be relocatable, ensuring wide access to all community members, and the realisation of the artwork in a number of settings.The project is delivered in partnership with VALID and ArtGusto, with funding from the Victorian Government.

Mayor Stephanie Asher said the artwork was a valuable addition to the City’s public art collection.

The I AM sculpture is a very significant piece of public art that highlights our commitment to embracing and supporting people of all abilities in our region.
Everyone in our community has something valuable to contribute, and I AM is about inspiring us all to be confident in our individuality.

Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan thanked the Victorian Government for the funding and acknowledged the high level of community participation in the workshops.

I thank Mark and the artistic team for leading this project, as well as the many people living with disabilities who provided valuable contributions to the final design.
It’s exciting to see this work underway, I am looking forward to seeing the final result standing proud in various locations across Greater Geelong.

Christine Couzens, Member for Geelong,

I would like to congratulate the all abilities advocates, and Mark and his team, who collaborated on this significant artwork celebrating people of all abilities.
We must reflect all in our community, and I look forward to seeing this work exhibited prominently around Geelong.

Page last updated: Friday, 18 June 2021