Bob Marchant's bas-relief sound barrier

In August 2021 I showcased the bas-relief sound barrier created by Australia artist Bob Marchant

Bob Marchant in 1998 with his wall of dolphins that adorn the sound barriers on the Princes Highway at Sutherland. Picture: Peter Rae (1)

Recently blog subscriber Trevor Lee from Canberra contacted me to say that he has been involved in producing a video with Glen McClelland of GDM Design of the Marchant Sound Barrier which runs along the Princes Highway, Sutherland Shire, Southern region of Sydney in New South Wales.2

First, follow the bookmark link below to read about the construction of this massive work which Bob Marchant started back in 2006 and took over 2 years to complete.

Bob Marchant breaks the sound with his bas-relief barrier
Paintings by Sydney artist Bob Marchant were showcased a few weeks ago. Today I show you a Bob Marchant creation that is seen by thousands of people every day! If fact you might have seen it today - if you live in New South Wales!

It is such a remarkable piece of work that Trevor and Glen decided it should be filmed so that the full extent of Bob's creative work could be viewed and appreciated from as many angles as possible. A little about Glen McClelland from GDM Design who made the video:

We would like to think of ourselves as a versatile designer with a background in Architecture. The practice is run by Glen McClelland who now is exploring the realms of film and history.

We listen to Australians and observe the way life and the built environment is changing. There is a story telling of our elders left in the construct of art, concrete and space which may be interpreted differently and personally by many users. A narrative that is humanity resounding deeply and predominantly subconsciously under the chatter.

While form and function are inseparable, it is often the case that the mundane repetitious and multitudinous nature of function warrants the use of additives in the design process including adornment, embellishment and decorative wrapping.

Bob Marchant’s sculptural mural sound barrier work in the Sutherland Shire is delightful compared to the flat faced monoliths of previous sound walls. He uses colour, relief, repetition and over scaling to project the native endemic fauna of whales, cockatoos and parrots lively onto the transport corridor. It reminds me of local indigenous ancient rock carvings, spotting whales passing off the nearby coast and those cheeky rackety birds.3

Through Glen's expertise in camera produced images (from a moving car and from a drone) you can be shown the total environment that the sound barrier is part of.
You can appreciate the creativity of the wonderful art work as so eloquently described by Glen above and at the same time take in the bird's eye view of the installation's function.

Installation art is remarkable as the significance of the sense of place and environment come into focus.

Glen's remarkable video reminds us that art can be both decorative and functional - in this case a magnificent piece of imagination and craftsmanship has been created to protect the community who live along the freeway from the sound of the traffic.

Glen's video demonstrates the breadth and depth of the natural and man made environment and immensity of the sound barrier but also zooms in so that you can appreciate the details of dolphins, whales, cockatoos and parrots which combine to make this spectacular work.

You might to check two more posts on Bob Marchant's art which have appeared in the AnArt4Life blog.

Bob Marchant Part One: the boy from the Wimmera
Bob Marchant has a touch of magic seen in his figurative works arising from his birth roots in the Wimmera District of Victoria. But his vision is far greater than this so please join us today as we showcase some of Bob’s paintings.
Bob Marchant Part Two: channelling post-impressionist Henri Rousseau
Continuing to review the works of Bob Marchant reveals a love of the late C19th naive/post-impressionist artist Henri Rousseau. Bob’s painting illustrate his love of flora and fauna as well as his often humorous rendering of his fellow humans. Credit:

© Thank you to Glen McClelland who kindly gave permission for the images of his work to be shared on AnArt4Life.


A great day because not only are we celebrating the remarkable work created by Bob Marchant we are welcoming a new subscriber to the AnArt4Life blog as Australia has just signed up to join us in wonderful journey that a love of art brings. Welcome aboard L.B.

2. gdmdesign
3. communication from Glen McClelland