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24/8/2010. Major international sculptor John Kelly’s “Yellow Peril (Square Eyes)” was today placed on public display for the community and visitors to the City of Whittlesea at MAB Corporation’s University Hill in Bundoora.

The sculpture was presented to the Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Peter Batchelor, and the Mayor of the City of Whittlesea, Cr. Mary Lalios by Michael R. Buxton, Executive Director, MAB Corporation.

The installation reinforces MAB Corporation’s high-profile and long-term support of Australian Contemporary Art and so far has been instrumental in funding major sculptures at Melbourne’s Docklands. This is the second installation of public art at University Hill since the company commenced the development in September 2005 and will complement the Alexander Knox sculpture, “Os” installed by Sunland within the Chancellor Estate at University Hill.

The award winning University Hill project is one third complete and contains the first designated office park in Melbourne’s North. The estate is currently home to over 250 businesses, 1500 employees and 400 residents.

“Our vision for University Hill is a place where people can work, live and play and importantly to build a strong sense of community. The installation of the John Kelly sculpture on Plenty Road at University Hill is a further part of MAB’s creation of University Hill as a 24 hour city.”, said Michael Buxton.

Michael Buxton is a strong supporter of Australian Contemporary Art and says “Since 1995 MAB have invested in excess of $4M on public art in the creation of our communities. As a developer we believe that, like landscaping, art is an integral component of the public realm in creating a sense of place and establishment of a community.”

“Yellow Peril (Square Eyes)” was a finalist in the national 2008 Helen Lempriere Sculpture Award and is among iconic and highly recognizable works by John Kelly. These works include “Cow Up a Tree” which was commissioned for Melbourne’s Docklands.

According to Kelly’s notes for the Lempriere award, “Yellow Peril (Square Eyes)” is a direct reference to painter Sidney Nolan’s “Boy in the Moon” paintings and, more obliquely, follows the inspiration of his earlier cow and Dobells Cows series of work, after the artist William Dobell.

The title obviously is a play on words related to Melbourne’s most famous and infamous abstract sculpture, “The Vault”, known colloquially as “The Yellow Peril”, by sculptor Ron Robertson-Swann, now installed outside Melbourne’s ACCA gallery after several decades of heated and derisive debate.

Artist Kelly was born in Bristol in 1965 but grew up in Australia from the same year, completing a BA (Visual Arts Painting) and MA at Melbourne’s RMIT before travelling to London on a visual arts scholarship where he studied at the Slade School of Art until 1999. He now lives permanently in Ireland and has been the subject of two ABC-TV documentaries.

Kelly has exhibited in individual and major group shows in Australia, France, Ireland, England, Ireland, China and Taiwan.

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