At the entrance to the Vietnamese restaurant precinct of Melbourne, stands the amazing Victoria Street Gateway. It marks the beginning of the street, at the intersection with Hoddle Street, one of Melbourne’s busiest arterials. Many Vietnamese restaurants reside in the area, and it’s a favourite of tourists and locals alike. The main body of the structure stands at over 11 metres high, and draws inspiration from birds and boats. It’s a bright gold colour with scale like features circular features covering the outside. At either end are the outstretched heads of some water birds pointing outwards and upwards. The Victoria Street Gateway is supported by the giant legs of these birds, crossing in crane like formation.
In this artwork, you can get a sense of the vibrancy of the area with a tram passing beneath gateway, flanked by traffic at the lights. A large fronted truck is making a right hand turn from Hoddle Street, and is somewhat intimidating given its large vertical grill. White lines guide it through the turn, ensuring it keeps on its correct path. Smaller white vans are passing by in the other direction, possibly delivering to the local Vietnamese restaurants. The road surface is a dark black colour, covered in the stains of soot and diesel.
In the background, on the corner stands a historical building with grand arch like windows. More modest dwelling continue behind the gateway and tram, with the top of one standing out in a bright reddish orange hue. Two light towers point in opposite directions in front of the gateway, mimicing the bird heads of the giant structure. You can also get a sense of movement from the traffic passing by.