Art Pharmacy strategised a creative vision for WIN Grand, a proposed development in Wollongong, to develop the thriving arts and culture scene in Wollongong and transform the city into a site of inspiration.
Art Pharmacy collaborated with ColonySix, BVN and Oculus to turn council objectives, design principles and community insights into a unique, site-specific public art plan for a major proposed mixed-use development. This will be implemented for WIN Grand, a 1.3 hectare city block in a high-profile location within the Wollongong City Centre, currently pending Development Approval.
Working closely with the development team, Art Pharmacy wanted to structure the Public Art Plan in a way that celebrated Wollongong’s unique cultural, industrial and natural landscape, to enhance the already thriving art scene while acting as a connector between the industrial vitality and wider natural environment.
We endeavoured to strategically capture the cultural locality of Wollongong as a city, imagine its future possibilities and create a vision to ensure sustainability of the evolving arts scene.
Art Pharmacy provided two narrative options, one that engaged with nature and the First Nations story of Country and another that focused on the hyper-local, positioning Wollongong’s cultural scene as the beating heart of the city. Further, we proposed several primary and secondary art placement locations, and with that a number of diverse opportunities for murals, festivals, activations and public art in general. We saw Wollongong’s cultural potential with its public murals, arts precinct, growing gallery scene and thriving festival scene.
Art Pharmacy ran a series of workshops with the parties involved, which provided an opportunity for the project team to give feedback to the art plan based on their areas of expertise. This actually saw more opportunities emerge for artwork to be located, and further considered how the artworks could become integrated with different parts of the precinct from the landscaping to the architectural design. It aligned the team on the direction of the art across the development and helped to develop stronger narratives centred around place, design and uniquely Wollongong attributes.
Art Pharmacy ensured that the Art Narrative, Art Placement and methodologies aligned with the City of Wollongong’s Public Art Principles, Narratives and Criteria. Included was an in-depth exploration on the importance of designing with Country, including best practice guidelines and protocols for engaging First Nations artists on the project.
The result was a succinct, comprehensive and ambitious Public Art Strategy for the future of WIN Grand, that provided many options depending on the progression of the development. We hope this strategic plan transforms the city of Wollongong into the ever-evolving, interesting and sustainable cultural hub that we believe it will be.