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‘Flying Colours’ by artist Shane McGrath opens at Melbourne Airport

BY Shane McGrath Studio | 11-Mar-2014
Melbourne-based artist Shane McGrath has just completed a large-scale mural in a recently upgraded section of Melbourne Airport's international terminal, which has just been unveiled this week. The artwork, which features an assemblage of international arrivals walking alongside each other and throwing paper-planes, pays tribute to Melbourne's cultural diversity.

Shane, whose proposal was handpicked from a competitive field of Melbourne artists. says the piece is representative of Melbourne's multicultural identity. "A city that is famous for its diversity, Melbourne's population is made up of people from over 140 cultures around the world. This piece is a celebration of Melbourne's multicultural roots," said Shane. The aim of Shane's artwork is to take each passenger on a journey through multicultural Melbourne, and to show that Melbournians are proud of their rich cultural heritage. "My intention in this artwork at the Melbourne Airport is to share with an international audience my views on how this city embraces other cultures," said Shane.

The paper planes in the artwork feature traditional printed patterns from all over the world. In this way, the paper planes become a metaphor for the cultural exchange that takes place each time someone travels. These small symbols of passenger origins may appear simple when considered individually, but collectively, appearing together in great numbers, express a poetic representation of what Melbourne is about; an impressive international destination due to the amazing sum of its culturally diverse parts.

Bryan Thompson, General Manager for Strategy Planning & Development, from Melbourne Airport said, "We are delighted that Shane's artistic treatment of the space communicates our vision for the space and warmly welcomes locals and visitors to Melbourne."

Mr. Thompson said, "Victoria is growing and over the next 20 years we expect to double our passengers to 60 million. We've commenced the largest transformation of Melbourne Airport yet to make sure we're ready to welcome passengers to our great state as we aim to become Australia's premier airport."

Born and bred in Melbourne, Shane is a newly recognised multidisciplinary artist, best known for his work in New Zealand as well as in numerous private and public collections both in Australia and internationally. Shane's work has been selected for many gallery exhibitions, prizes and residencies including Bondi's Sculpture By The Sea and the Melbourne Art Fair. Since 2006 Shane has shown regularly in solo and group exhibitions, commercial galleries and artist run initiatives.

David Cross, Associate Professor at Massey University's School of Fine Arts has said, "Shane's work might be characterised by a profound engagement with the human condition. His artwork has a whimsical quality that is certainly humorous but also concerned with everyday ideas of fantasy. He is fast becoming a leading trans-Tasman artist". McGrath is currently represented by Bartley + Company gallery in Wellington.