‘Family’ by Deborah Halpern – 1995 (Level 2, Atrium Food Court Fountain)
Deborah Halpern is one of Australia’s most celebrated sculptors, known for her wildly colourful mosaic work. Creator of many of Melbourne’s most loved public sculptures, Halpern’s works exude an innate vitality and alluring simplicity. Spontaneous in form, her creatures are created in a style that recalls visions of Gaudi, Picasso and the playful surrealism of French sculptor Niki De Saint Phalle, yet all have become distinctly Halpernesque in their ability to delight and surprise.
Halpern is a multi-disciplinary artist who explores the mediums of sculpture, painting, pottery, glass blowing and printmaking. Her work can be exuberant and whimsical but is also imbued with a deep artistry. Over her 33-year career Halpern has produced an extraordinary body of work and through her numerous public sculptures has become well known and respected within the community.
In her particular world view, Deborah Halpern was greatly influenced by her parents, artists Sylvia and Artek Halpern, who would often speak to Deborah of the ‘brotherhood of man’, and Halpern came to see the planet as her family, inspiring works such as the beloved fountain installation in the Atrium Food Court precinct.