Hard Boiled

Proposal for the Southern Way McClelland Commission 2021

Hard Boiled is a significant marker of Matthew Bird’s artistic practice, bringing together more than a decade of material research and large-scale experimentation in a playful banter between his long-standing formalist obsessions and everyday oddities. Conceived as both a custodian looming large over speeding vehicles and dystopian Humpty Dumpty perched precariously on a roadside edge, Hard Boiled offers a curious break from our chaotic world. Disturbing and delightful, the comically alien forms allude to profundity and fecundity, along with the occasional chicken-&-egg joke. The sculpture is a cosmic beacon calling forth a glorious oddball universe to come.

Hard Boiled sits uneasily along the Peninsula Link, where it can frantically view and ponder the future. Refusing to cower from recent challenges, the sculpture stands pert and proud. It is ever watchful as tradies, escaping elites, and frazzled mums slowly make their way back home from beyond. As the public awkwardly returns, we need the brooding security, omniscient surveillance, and unexpected joy provided by this good egg.

As we confront a cosmos that is opaque and hard to crack, Matthew Bird’s Hard Boiled offers the hope that a shimmering golden orb of delight will emerge and promise much, much more.

Words: Charity Edwards & Jason Crow / Visualisations: Stephen Hawken

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