A FLOWER TO Love
By Melissa Walsh
n John Meade’s words he is “not afraid of beauty”, and it shows in his sculptures which reflect the magnificence of nature, the human spirit, and the human form. This year, the peninsula is lucky enough to witness one of Meade’s stunning works when Love Flower is unveiled on the Peninsula Link's Cranbourne Road exit. The sculpture by John Meade and Emily Karanikolopolous will replace Gregor Kregar’s sculpture Reflective Lullaby. The monumental and enchanting new sculpture is part of unique and award-winning commitment to public art, with Meade and Karanikolopolous recipients of the $250,000 2018 Southern Way McClelland Commission. Peninsula Essence talks to artist, John Meade, about his magnificent sculpture and the collaboration with fellow artist, Emily Karanikolopolous. “I believe Love Flower will be installed around September - October and it has been a long process involving collaboration with Emily to get it to this point,” said Meade. “Currently it is being constructed by a Brisbane company off the coast of Singapore, but I will be going over there towards the end of July before it is shipped over.”
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With around 67 proposals submitted, Meade said he was thrilled to be chosen as his family has a connection to the Langwarrin area as well as the Mornington Peninsula. “I felt like it was a wonderful tribute to my parents who are no longer with us, but lived in Langwarrin for many years. I still have family on the peninsula and surrounding area as well,” said Meade, who was inspired by his love of ikebana, a type of Japanese floral arrangement. “There are different types of ikebana but this is sogetsu ikebana which is a more modern take. Decades ago, in the 1980’s I was interested in the flower arranging art form. I was living in Sydney and had seen work by some of the masters. When I moved to northern NSW for a while, I found a teacher and did some initial courses there. I guess that was the preliminary step towards the sculpture as I kept on the look-out for it as time went on. About three years ago I found a work by Emily who is from the Melbourne ikebana chapter, contacted her and went to meet her at her home. That is when the process of the sculpture began.”
I do a lot of different sculptures but I always like the piece to be aesthetically engaging
For Meade, who has a personal interest in ikebana, and Karanikolopolous who started studying the ancient Japanese floral art 28 years ago, it was the perfect combination.
Peninsula Essence June 2019