Imagine being in a job where you’re rarely praised, often the target of harsh complaints and dismissively known as the Rates, Roads and Rubbish people.
Such is the lot of local councils, but in reality, they’re so much more than that. The council can help make it a real pleasure to live in your town or city.
At our most recent Discovery Group meeting, a local artist, Ken Raff was invited to speak to our members about the public art works he’s been commissioned to create for the Albury-Wodonga area. Since hearing him speak, it’s caused me to stop, look around and …
# Admire Public Art
Ken spoke about the evolution of a public sculpture, and it was the first time I’d realised that our council has people assigned to this very process. Impressive!
Extensive work is involved in the development of such pieces, involving the tender process, the artist chosen, site evaluations, various council departments as well as engineering and fabrication experts and businesses. And through all of this, the artist has to hope that the vision of his work will be maintained.
Here’s one of Ken’s wonderful creations, where it all came together so well.
Called Porta, this installation is sited at the entrance to Victoria from NSW
The choice of colours and even the tilt of the spheres have been meticulously considered by the creator.
And a panoramic shot may give you a better sense of its imposing height and perfect positioning …
This also shows the importance of ‘place’ in public art. In the wrong spot, it might have been lost, but here – simply magnificent!
My public art crawl has now ranged from the stainless steel facade sculpture by renowned artist Matthew Harding, sited at the back of our Art Gallery, MAMA,
Degrees of Separation (Crossing Paths)
to another of Ken Raff‘s works in the main street …
and on to the imposing galvanised steel artwork called Grow by Warren Langley, representing the crimson spider orchid, an endangered flower found in Albury, but few other locations …
Then there’s the latest sculpture in the Botanical gardens …
… so perfectly suited to this position.
Public art can also encompass improving some of the plainer aspects of modern living, like applying mural art to otherwise dull areas such as drains and NBN boxes –
Birdwatcher painted by Kade SarteBanana Joe by Kristina GreenwoodThe cover-up!
It’s exciting to come across the art in your local neighbourhood. I know there are several more pieces for me to discover.
During this adventure, I stumbled across a copy of Banksy’s Rage – local artist unknown – stencilled under a bridge on the New South Wales side of the Murray River.
It’s positioned to look like the person is about to lob a hand grenade – into Victoria!
Fortunately, the missile is a bunch of brightly coloured flowers.
Photo of the Tai Chi Bunnies taken at Circular Quay, Sydney in January at the Chinese New Year celebrations. I’m told they glow at night!