A group of RMIT students from Communication, Design, Architecture, and Fashion were invited to take part in a competition to design artwork for the hoarding which will go across the front of the Swanston Street building as we undertake our transformation.
So every day, this building is filled with students, and this project was so special because we were inviting students to come in and interpret the collection.
This partnership is an amazing opportunity for the State Library and RMIT, two of the main institutions in the northern end of the CBD, to show how they engage with the city.
This particular learning environment exposes the students to what it's like to work with an actual client in an actual real-world situation.
One of the great opportunities about this project is the students got access to the collections and also to the librarians.
The students scoured the collections for things that interested them, using their interests to cut a cross-section through what exists in the State Library's collection.
Some of the 22 projects explicitly use things that students have found in the collections.
We received 22 entries and they were remarkable. The top three artworks really beautifully reflected the transformation that's happening here at the State Library, but also drew on the riches of the collection, which of course, is at the heart of everything we do at the State Library Victoria.
One of the really beautiful moments was when the winners were announced and the realisation that what they're working on is out there in the world as a creative work is a really rewarding experience for the students.
My inspiration came from thinking about the vast history of Victoria's landscape and its traditional owners. The fact that the Library is encouraging me in my design and supporting my ideas means a lot.
The Library is a special place for me, because it's a significant landmark in Victoria that I also go to time and time again. I used hand gestures evoking the notion of gathering, protest, and harmony.
It retains the importance of the forecourt being a place that belongs to the public. We were encouraged to take inspiration from the State Library collection itself. For my project, I was really taken by old images of flora and fauna.
So I'm super excited to have my work in front of the State Library. It's the biggest piece I've ever made. The Library is such an inspiring place, and we hope the artwork will remind people who are walking by, just how much value there is in this beautiful collection and this beautiful building. We hope it inspires all Victorians and all visitors.