Streets are theatres of life, and in Melbourne the set is always in motion. Now in its fifth year, the annual Melbourne Art Trams project invites Victorian artists and community groups to submit designs that will transform trams into mobile artworks. It's becoming a ritual for modern times: eight Victorian artists are given trams as their canvas and told to go to town. The resulting transformations take one of the city's most familiar icons and cause us to see them with fresh eyes, as mirrors on our culture, windows to the imagination or spaces to gather and share. Get carried away. 2017 Melbourne Art Tram artists are Emma Anna, Matthew Clarke, Bushra Hasan, Oliver Hutchison, Justine McAllister, Josh Muir, Robert Owen and community tram by St Albans Heights Primary School's Community Hub. Melbourne Kolkata Tramjatra is the first of the eight 'art trams' to be rolled out this year.
Bushra Hasan - the artist of Melbourne-Kolkata Tramjatra says - "My inspiration for designing a Tramjatra tram comes from my love for Melbourne's trams and the unique friendship between the tram-loving communities of Kolkata (India) and Melbourne and partnership with Melbourne trammie, Roberto D'Andrea. Tramjatra works in partnership with the Calcutta Tramways Company (Now WBTC) and Government of West Bengal. Tramjatra has a rich history of engaging Victoria's Indian diaspora reflecting years of collaboration between Melbourne and Kolkata. This tram design honours the tramways relationship between Kolkata and Melbourne. The first friendship tram was launched from Belgatchia Depot in October 1996. 12 trams have since been decorated in Kolkata. 2016 was the 20th anniversary of Tramjatra with a rich history of friendship, the love of trams and highlighting the environmental benefits of tramways."
Photograph courtesy Mr. Roberto D'Andrea.