SA POWER NETWORKS SUBSTATION COMMISSION

1 June 2022

The West End in South Australia has gained a gleaming SA icon, as sculptural work Endless Hoist was officially opened in an event at the University of South Australia’s Pridham Hall on Tuesday 31 May 2022.

Commissioned by SA Power Networks and facilitated through the Helpmann Academy, the new public artwork pays homage to a monument of the Aussie Backyard, the Hills Hoist.

Elevated on the roof of the Hindley Street Substation, Endless Hoist was created by a team of three emerging creatives, Oakey (Flinders University) Frances Rogers (University of South Australia) and Steven Bellosguardo (University of South Australia) through the SA Power Networks (SAPN) and Helpmann Academy Hindley Street Substation Public Art Commission.

Encompassing themes of nostalgia, innovation and gentrification, the 5-metre gold geometric form cuts a new silhouette in the ever-shifting landscape of Hindley Street.

Fabricated at George Street Studios, under the mentorship of Louse Hassleton and Tony Rosella, the sculpture was dreamt up by the team of artists as they wandered the streets in the western suburbs looking for inspiration.

Oakey says that the team were inspired by Australia’s history of destination landmarks, with the visual artists hoping to create a distinctly South Australian icon for the west end of town.

“We kept going back to the big icons of Australia, like the Big Banana, the Big Koala, the Big Galah. We kind of wanted to create something like that in the west end,” says Oakey.

“We wanted to honour the past in a sense, our nostalgia for the Australian dream, by maintaining a piece of South Australian history, the Hills Hoist, as a beacon in the urbanised cityscape,” adds Bellosguardo.

The significance of landing a public art commission of this scale fresh from university isn’t lost on the trio, with the placement of the work of special significance for the graduates due to its close proximity to their learning institutions.

“I feel like any opportunity on that scale, fresh out of university is outrageous really. To finish my degree and then to go straight into designing my own public art, with such a solid team is pretty incredible. We wouldn’t have got that without Helpmann,” says Rogers.

“It’s knowing that there’s a whole team of people that are on your side rather than just having to go independently into that process.”

The Hindley Street Substation Public Art Commission is the second public art development that SA Power Networks have partnered with Helpmann Academy on. In 2017 three emerging creatives were commissioned to create sculptures for the front of the SAPN head office in Keswick and the Middleback Theatre in Whyalla.

Kylie Kerrigan, Manager of Sponsorship and Events at SAPN says that the organisation is thrilled to see the substation transformed.

“A few years ago, the substation building was just a block structure painted in a dubious shade of mustard brown. Now it’s a real focal point for the street, both from the pavement level, and now from various vantage points around the city,” says Kerrigan.

“It has given the building a whole new visual life, beyond its very important function of keeping power flowing to that section of the city.”
View Endless Hoist at the Hindley Street Substation, on the corner of Hindley and George Streets.

The SA Power Networks and Helpmann Academy Hindley Street Substation Public Art Commission was generously supported by SA Power Network, Helpmann Academy, Arts South Australia, and City of Adelaide.

Images: Oakey, Frances Rogers and Steven Bellosguardo, Endless Hoist, photo by Samuel Graves. Steven Bellosguardo, Frances Rogers and Oakey at George Street Studios, photo by Thomas McCammon.