Private developers in Australia are beginning to understand that public art can transform a site from a mere location to a desired destination. A comprehensive and considered Public Art Plan is not only an investment into aesthetics and requirements, but an investment to the value of the property.
More and more councils across Australia are requiring Public Art Plans in support of private DA applications. The inclusion of public art is not only important to meet DA approval requirements for private developments, but also for strengthening the identity, wellbeing, and vibrancy of a place.
A strong and carefully curated Public Art Plan signals a step into the realm of memorable destinationality, and can add depth to the cultural identity of a site. Further, public art adds interest and dimension to a space many people might otherwise mindlessly walk past.
Public Art Plans – a shift to Destinationality
The City of Sydney’s criteria for public art in public and private developments notes the importance of site-specific art plans developed in correspondence with the community and location’s unique attributes. Destinationality is both the responsibility of and gift to the developer. A shift to site-specific public art brings developments a step closer to achieving this.
Destinationality is an important tool for new developments. It creates meaning and connection between a community and a physical site, and transforms plots of land into spaces that people truly want to be in and be a part of.
Public art can shape a site’s identity
Carefully curated public art projects expresses the ideal culture and purpose of the private development, and contributes to a sense of belonging and community. It can also highlight to visitors the unique attributes of the site.
In 2019, Art Pharmacy worked with Sydney-based illustrator Chris Yee on his iconic permanent heritage artwork, Tumbalong, as part of a Public Art Plan for a new private development. The work highlights the cultural distinctiveness of Sydney’s Chinatown and adds an element of wonder and cultural uniqueness that truly distinguishes it from other spaces in the area. Today, the work is synonymous with the Haymarket area of Sydney CBD.
Public art disrupts the banality of everyday thoroughfare
In 2018, it was estimated that over 320,000 people commute to and through Sydney CBD for work every day. With a statistic as high as this, high-quality public art can disrupt this cycle and bring a new element of excitement and interest to a space that masses of people pass through every day.
Art Pharmacy recently curated a 6km outdoor art trail of 30 life-size whale tail sculptures across the iconic Sydney waterfront, which is forecasted to attract over half a million visitors. Sydneysiders and tourists alike often pass through that stretch – colourful and interesting new art along the waterfront create moments of wonder over a backdrop of everyday Sydney.
For many, art is a financial investment, but an investment in high-quality curated art is also an investment in wellbeing and culture. A researched, considered and developed Public Art Plan can bring new life into potential private developments – they establish destinationality, enhance a site’s identity and evoke moments of wonder in everyday spaces of commute.
Art Pharmacy is one of Australia’s leading art consultants, bringing placemaking and creative strategy to public and private development projects and enhancing the cultural vision of the site.