GRASS PARROT FAMILY
By Emily Floyd, born Melbourne
Curator: Broached Commissions Location: TiTree Park, East Tower, Melbourne Quarter, Flinders St Melbourne Photographer: Peter Bennetts
This family of sculptural birds continues Floyd’s long-standing commitment to the history of childhood learning objects and sculptures that depict local fauna. The artwork has been designed to specifically engage Melbourne Quarter’s younger inhabitants. Playing with scale and perspective, Grass Parrot Family invites audiences to reimagine the city from the perspective of a child, learning from the environment and envisioning Melbourne Quarter's urban park as an outdoor classroom.
The sculptures are modelled on the Red Rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), also known as the red-backed parrot or grass parrot, a common bird of south-eastern Australia.
Emily Floyd acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders, past present and emerging, of the lands and waters on which Ti-Tree Garden stands; acknowledging Aboriginal connection to material and creative practice on these lands for more than 60,000 years, and their enduring presence and knowledge.
Melbourne-born Emily Floyd is a graduate of the sculpture program at RMIT University (1999), and has since become one of Australia’s most notable and exhibited artists. Creating sculpture, print and text-based work and public installations, Floyd is known for her ability to cleverly match ideas of social activism, public education and community engagement with a playful, modernist aesthetic. Floyd is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery and has exhibited internationally including representing Australia at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Works by the artist are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The British Museum, London and others.
At Melbourne Quarter, three of Floyd’s parrots – iconic within her practice – were curated into the landscape of the Urban Park, expanding on the theme of The Tempest and becoming props for children to engage with the history of the site, which before colonial times was an abundant garden, home to many varieties of plants and birds which were nurtured by Melbourne’s traditional owners.