Brad Rusbridge on Andrew Hurle’s ‘Commonwealth Bank (money box)’ 2011

04 Sep 2020

Here, Potter Assistant Curator Brad Rusbridge offers insights into a 2011 work by Victorian artist, Andrew Hurle. Titled Commonwealth Bank (money box), the piece was first exhibited at the Potter in the 2012 exhibition Post-Planning and was subsequently purchased for the University of Melbourne Art Collection.

As Brad explains, the work depicts a “supercharged replica” of the ubiquitous Commonwealth Bank money boxes which were distributed to Australian school children from the early 1920s through until the early 1980s. For anyone who went to school in Australia during this time the work’s colours, image and form will be instantly recognisable.

Modelled on the original Commonwealth Bank building in Pitt Street, Sydney, Hurle’s oversized model reflects capitalism’s endless push for growth and prosperity and makes a comment on how aspirations towards the attainment of wealth are instilled in us from a young age.

Andrew Hurle
Commonwealth Bank (money box) 2011
Inkjet print on wood, gliding wax, card
The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Purchased by The Ian Potter Museum of Art 2012