Every community in Australia’s cities and towns is unique- and so too should its Public Art.
Artwork in the Public Realm is important for many reasons, one being as a way to build on what is good in a community and working to change what isn’t.
There is a huge amount that has been written by creative academics about ‘art and wellbeing’ and the connection between community, cultural development and health, ecologically sustainability, social inclusion and cultural diversity. Public art and accessible and inclusive creative projects play a big part in creating these positive changes.
One element to this is considering public placemaking which attempts to heighten our positive associations with place and explains why we feel inclined to visit some places and not others. For example placemaking explains why, you’ll happily take the longer route through the sunny park where your friends hang out, rather than go the quicker way that would mean crossing two roads of busy traffic.
Placemaking relies on the local identity of an area and what is already there. Also, it considers the space as a whole, rather than focusing only on one part.
Sometimes misunderstood, Placemaking should not be a superficial construct. Placemaking should give greater incentives to strengthen community ties in the areas. Instead of always trying to create new culture, great placemaking projects are the ones that strengthen the existing culture, be socially inclusive as well as foster new ties and placemaking possibilities.
In this article we look back at some of our flagship Public Realm projects and how we keep in mind community engagement, placemaking practices and historical significance, when considering projects from planning to implementation stage.