As residents of Sydney we’re accustomed to the unsightly proliferation of building sites around the City. In an initiative by the City of Sydney, the works of 10 Australian designers, artists, photographers, illustrators will soon be featured on construction site hoardings to make artwork mandatory on highly visible construction sites.
The program was first proposed at the Creative City Cultural Policy and Action Plan of 2014. Community consultation and research found hoardings and scaffolding could be used as temporary outdoor galleries and was one of the many ideas that could bring creativity out of traditional institutions and into the public domain.
The City of Sydney Council will now be making available the works of the specially selected artists as an online bank that can be used to beautify busy transport corridors and popular public spaces. The works of 10 individuals were selected from more than 520 submissions from across the country. While building sites are not all that bad when completed, they remain eyes sores and inconvenient in more ways than one while under construction. By adding colour and using the hoardings as a canvas, the City of Sydney can benefit from rejuvenation of the city while exposing artists and designers to the passing public. It’s a great opportunity to promote some of Australia’s talent.
Photographer Timothy Harland’s awe-inspiring panorama showcases the grandeur of the famous Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia. A majestic play to bring the beauty and tranquillity of the natural world to the city, it’s made up of more than 50 different shots taken while travelling in a boat parallel to the glacier. Of the vision behind his work, he says “we can’t save what we don’t know or can’t imagine.” Tim Harland is a professional photographer based in Sydney.
Lost pet signs are a familiar and heart-wrenching sight in the city. Sydney photographer Edwin Budhi has collected a collage of real-life lost animal signs and stories from across Sydney and its suburbs. For him, it’s a story of hope, loss, family and life in the city (all the owners of the pets still at large are very keen for this artwork to be used!). Edwin Budhi is a photographer and filmmaker from Sydney.
EGGPICNIC brings us “Birds of Australia aims to open the hearts and minds of the public to understanding and recognising the problems facing our vulnerable wildlife”. EGGPICNIC is Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso.
Adelaide based artist Cynthia Schwertsik says of her photo series Poly Ubiquitous; “I hope this artwork brings awareness to the next piece of plastic we hold in our hand before it becomes garbage”. At first glance, the brightly coloured images appear abstract – only upon second look does the subject matter make itself known – plastic shopping bags adrift in the sea.
Sydney based writer and designer Danling Xiao, has built a sizeable Instagram following off the back of her conceptual sculptures lovingly made from food scraps. She hopes her work – featuring everyday objects such as trees and teddy bears, made from fruit and vegetable scraps – inspires people to smile, wonder and consider how we can act mindfully to reduce food wastage and save our environment.
Obstacle Course by Sydney designer and artist Elliott Bryce Foulkes, references an individual’s experience and journey when navigating the city. Each element has been carefully selected to represent Sydney, from existing infrastructure to ongoing development. It’s a deceptively simple and abstract look at our city.
The vibrant colour palette dominated the work of emerging artist Emily Crockford’s Sydney Opera House at Night. With strong playful strokes she describes the creative energy and joy that infuses Sydney’s iconic Opera House.
Fiona Currey describes her stone tools as jewels; “I find it awe inspiring that someone made these exceptional objects by hand so long ago”. The striking colour palette was derived from the diverse materials from which these tools were crafted, particularly glass.
Inspired by “animal noises and weird plants,” it’s no surprise Captain Pipe’s piece is so fantastical and fun! Each character is building their own story, which combines into one continuous mural. And it’s no surprise that he also describes himself as full-time photon shaman.
Rachel Harris, photographer, designer and installation artist from Adelaide, has altered images from the City’s archives to create a playful juxtaposition between the now and then. She says, “Sydney is such a progressive city steeped in so much history. I wanted to celebrate that. I like to make work that questions our perceptions and makes us look closer at our environs.”
Applying creative graphic treatments on protective structures, hoardings and scaffolding at construction sites across the city increases creativity in streetscapes, opportunities for artists to present their work to board audiences, visibility of cultural events and art collections outside of galleries in public areas, increases ways of exploring and celebrating Sydney’s history with archival images and historical anecdotes, and enhances public participation in shaping the look and feel of the city.
Developers and builders wanting to know more about this project, read more here.