We were recently engaged by the City of Parramatta to develop a holistic and purpose-driven Public Art Plan, that provides a long term strategic art procurement strategy for Sydney’s Western suburb, North Granville.
Aligned with City of Parramatta’s culture strategies and informed by community research, the North Granville Public Art Plan details an actionable art procurement strategy by providing advice on possible curatorial directions, art locations and best practice implementation guidelines. This Public Art plan will provide and guide a way forward for art commissions for many years to come.
After a site visit to get a feel for the area, we began by reviewing the City of Parramatta’s cultural policies and objectives, as well as analysing the history of the site and the current demographics of the region. We identified a major objective was the importance of acquiring local artists and listening to community insights in the development of the artworks. This saw the Art Pharmacy team facilitate two weeks of community consultation including running two workshops with local residents and an open survey, in order to better understand the community’s experiences, interests and preferences for public art. With 55 survey results and feedback from around 14 community groups, these insights informed the suggested art narratives, possible locations and artwork typologies included in the plan.
We worked to develop three possible curatorial directions and art narratives that reflected our findings, as well as identifying various opportunities for public art locations that were aimed at creating the highest impact in the area.
We used our creative problem-solving skills to propose strategic directions for four prominent locations for public art based on three budget variations. We ended by using our experience in public art procurement to propose a best practice methodology for commissioning public art. This included an eight-step process to ensure high quality, site-specific and well-maintained public artworks.
The final result was an in-depth art plan that considered North Granville holistically and was put together with community members’ input, an analysis of the suburbs’ historical framework as well as alignment with the City of Parramatta’s current objectives. We were fortunate enough to have collaborated with local Dharug consultants, Auntie Julie Jones and Adam Hill, who provided valuable insight into the art plan.
It was a pleasure to work with the City of Parramatta on this project and Art Pharmacy is looking forward to seeing engaging and exciting Public Art in North Granville in the near future.