Raising the Rattler Pole – The Last of the Connies, a public artwork by David Michael Bell, is a theatrical tribute to one of Melbourne’s iconic heroes – the W-class 'rattler' tram.
Positioned on the corner of Spencer Street and Flinders Street, the 1:1-scale replica is finished in a bluestone effect and playfully upended and tilted at 10 degrees. At night, the drama continues as the headlights and windows gently glow, much like a block of city apartments filled with unseen after-hours activities.
The Rattler is a reproduction of Tram 1040, the 40th and last tram built at the Preston Tram Works to service Bourke Street in 1956. Yarra Trams currently operate the remaining W-class trams to service the City Circle route 35.
David Michael Bell is a freelance artist and designer with a passion for making large-scale public artworks. David’s public art practice has been significantly informed by a 20-year career in theatre and film.
Raising the Rattler Pole – The Last of the Connies, is commissioned by the City of Melbourne Public Art Program.
Photographs courtesy of Matthew Stanton.