City of Darwin's Public Art Program will deliver a series of major public art projects over multiple sites between 2019 and 2023. This Program was created in response to sustained requests from the community and elected members to see more public artwork throughout the municipality, designed by local artists. Rolling out public artworks within a program framework provides an overarching vision in line with industry best practice. The Public Art Program has established ongoing collaborations and partnerships and will showcase local artistic excellence, educate the public about significant sites within our municipality, and provide professional development opportunities to upscale our local creative economy.
PROJECT 1: Jingili Water Gardens Accessible Playspace – Integrated Art Element in partnership with Freespace Public Art Collective
Under the guidance of Amina McConvell, Creative Producer of Freespace Public Art Collective, public art consultants Milne & Stonehouse have workshopped with artists Abigail Marangurra, Angelique Martin, Joanne Van Roden, Samantha Callaghan, Tara Darcy and Wendy Lamble to realise this exciting immersive public artwork, integrated into the Jingili Water Gardens Playground upgrade.
'Magical Mangroves' is the guiding theme of the public artworks featured within the playspace, with each artist drawing features of the local ecosystem of Rapid Creek. Artist designs were integrated into the new playground shade cloth, into the design of the Water Garden's new amenity and accessible change facility, and most notably, into a Green Ants Nest Playspace – an accessible play structure that forms the center piece of the Upgrade. This two-pod structure is custom-made to facilitate creative and inclusive play and exploration.
This project was launched with a community fun day on June 1, 2022.
PROJECT 2: Bicentennial Park Stand Alone Public Artwork – Storytelling public artwork in partnership with Larrakia Nation
Larrakia Nation and City of Darwin have partnered to implement Council's first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2020 - 2022 with the roll out of a public art project depicting a Larrakia story from the Bicentennial Park area. Larrakia Nation has put forward senior artist Daniel 'Roque' Lee and emerging artist Trent Lee to work in collaboration with First Nations-led creative producers Garuwa Creative on a stand-alone piece of public art. Garuwa Creative will work with the artists to conceptualise, fabricate and install the sculpture. This Project will be the first time Larrakia stories are manifested within the Park, and will be the largest amount of money Council has committed to a public art prject to date.
This project was delivered in July 2023.