Melbourne Now countdown – day 88

Caleb Shea is one of a number of artists making new work for Melbourne Now. From late November when the exhibition opens, the sculpture terrace at NGV International will come alive with the artist’s colourful geometric constructions.

Shea draws inspiration from various twentieth-century reference points, from Constructivism to Minimalism, from Brancusi to David Smith, yet stakes out his own sculptural territory.  Arrived at intuitively, his poetic arrangements result from ongoing spatial investigations into colour, line and form.

Over the past six months the artist has been developing ideas, working from his Northcote studio and making regular trips in to the NGV to assess the site. Taking stock of Roy Grounds’ late 1960s architecture as well as various modernist works situated in the garden – from Auguste Rodin’s Balzac to George Rickey’s kinetic sculpture – Shea’s idea is to create a dynamic field of sculptural forms that will engage in playful dialogues with the site and sculptures in the NGV collection. The process of construction is now underway with various sculptural elements – in steel, concrete and wood – taking shape. Over the coming weeks in the lead up to Melbourne Now, we will follow the artist as he progresses this exciting new series of sculptures.

Caleb Shea graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) in sculpture from RMIT University in 2009 and received a Master of Visual Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2011. Recent exhibitions in Melbourne include Exercise in Sophistication, with Thomas Jeppe, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011 and the solo show The Peasants are Revolting, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2012–13. In 2008 his work was included in Model for Abundant in the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Shea was recipient of The Fourth Baldessin Foundation Travelling Fellowship in 2004 and the National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association Masters Award in 2011.

Caleb Shea’s commission for the NGV Garden is supported by Spotlight Charitable Foundation