'The Drop' - A new public artwork for Hepburn Shire

Published on 05 April 2023

The Drop artwork sitting in the landscape at Glenlyon dam

Hepburn Shire Council has installed a new public art sculpture at Glenlyon Dam, celebrating the beauty of nature and our relationship to water. 

‘The Drop’, by artist Yu Fang Chi, is a 2.5 metre high reflective stainless-steel sculpture in the form of a giant water droplet. 

The work alludes to the water element of the dam environment and was chosen from a shortlist of artist proposals by members of the Public Art Advisory Committee. The committee felt the artist’s concept connected on many levels to the local area through the environment, climate change, community interaction with the dam, springs and river, the Djaara people and the overall importance of water to our community. The mirrored surface of the stainless-steel material relates well to water and particularly the dam site.

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said the internationally renowned artist has created an important addition to public art in the Shire.

“This piece fits so beautifully in the landscape. It reflects the surrounding area and is placed where it is visible right across Glenlyon Dam," said Cr Hood. 

"Public art is meant to be accessible and engaging. It starts conversations and I expect this will get people talking. Thank you to the Public Art Advisory Committee who worked on shortlisting artists and selecting this commission,” he said.

A series of circular inlays on the concrete base of ‘The Drop’ provide clues to the artist’s intentions. The Dja Dja Wurrung word ‘wanyarram’, (meaning ‘water’) connects the work to the importance of water to First Nations peoples. The colour of the inlaid details references the role gold played in the area during the 19th century.

This artwork is the latest of a series of public art commissions installed at sites throughout the Shire over the past decade. The installation comes as Council is preparing a new Arts and Culture Strategy to guide future decisions. Council commissioned the piece in 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic leading to delays.

The Drop can be found on high ground near the southern shore of Glenlyon Dam, in Dysart St, Glenlyon.

The Drop was a $30,000 public art commission. Council will host an official opening on Thursday 4 May at 2pm.  Members of the community are welcome to attend.

About the artist

Yu Fang Chi is a Taiwan-born, Melbourne-based artist working within textile, silversmithing, sculpture, and spatial installation. Grappling with contemporary issues such as environment, landscape and remoteness, her work often uses the interplay of light and shadow to open up discussions around contemporary issues.

Chi gained a doctorate from RMIT University and received the Diana Morgan Gold & Silversmithing Prize in 2018. In 2019, she received Career Development Grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and International Cultural Exchange Grants from Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation. Chi has exhibited widely and undertaken artist in residencies in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Taipei.