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Public Art

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Public art enhances our natural and built environments, it builds upon our cultural heritage, diversity, sense of identity and provides opportunities for our artists to contribute to the development of the city’s creativity and vibrancy.

Our strategic approach to the commissioning and delivery of contemporary public art recognises the need to build local capacity and skills, provide opportunities for local artists, foster diversity in content and support a model that encourages community conversations around the role of art in the public realm.

Introducing CITYLIFE Platform

Darwin is lighting up the city with its pilot program CITYLIFE Platform.
This artistic program is being trialed over three years with the intention of transforming selected outdoor public spaces into public galleries. CITYLIFE Platform showcases local artists, encourages community dialogue around topical themes and, activates our public spaces through the installation of an alternating aesthetic element.

Eight purpose built lightboxes will host temporary exhibitions that will change every six months.

The lightboxes are located in three sites across Darwin:

  • The Mall in the city centre hosts two double-sided lightboxes at each end
  • Chinatown car park hosts three single-sided lightboxes
  • Nightcliff Pool hosts three single-sided lightboxes

Home Turf: Adventures in Art

Exhibitions dates: 18 April - October 2021

Exhibitions sites: 8 lightboxes located across Nightcliff Pool, Smith Street Carpark, and The China town carpark.

The exhibition, celebrating young Darwin artists, is centred around Youth Week 2021. In collaboration with LAUNCH, Council’s Youth Advisory Committee and exhibition curator, Kezia Dilettoso, who is a young emerging arts worker and current. student at Charles Darwin University.

Ten artworks were selected from a very competitive pool of applicants aged between 12 and 25, and the title of Home Turf: Adventures in Art was chosen by Kezia to reflect the spirit of the artworks chosen.

Nine young artists are presented at the exhibition:

  • Tisha Tejaya
  • Che Hughson
  • Kaleb Tester (only 12 years old)
  • Ifa Shiddiq
  • Chlarisse Bala
  • Merlin Martin
  • Colby Thomas
  • Isabella Henderson
  • Eren Fraser

The exhibition showcases the artistic talent Darwin's young people have to offer.  

Balnba (Rainy Season)

Exhibitions dates: 25 November 2020 - 8 April 2021

Exhibitions sites: 10 lightboxes located across Nightcliff Pool, Smith Street Carpark, and The Smith Street Mall.

The current exhibition installed within the Citylife Platform is a partnership between City of Darwin and Balunu Healing Foundation. Balunu Healing Foundation is a not for profit organisation focused on the healing of Indigenous youth and young people based in Darwin.

The exhibition title is Balnba, the Larrakia word for wet season, with all artists creating work responding to this theme. Artwork selection has been curated by Larrakia visual artist Nadine Lee and selected artists feature a mix of youth workers, healers and participants within Balunu’s programs for young First Nations people.

Featured artists include:

  • Mim Cole
  • Danella Lee
  • Nadine Lee
  • Djolpa McKenzie
  • Ray Ray McKenzie
  • T’ara Cole
  • Damita Lee
Location Artwork
Chinatown Carpark

Smith Street Mall

Nightcliff Pool


Many thanks to Nadine Lee, Noeletta McKenzie (Balunu Manager), the crew from Sign City Darwin, and all participating artists.

For more information, please email:

Climate Change - 2020

Exhibition dates: Friday  3 April to Friday 4 September  2020

Exhibition sites: 10 lightboxes located across Nightcliff Pool, Chinatown Carpark, and The Mall.

The 2020 exhibition installed within the Citylife Platform has been curated by Darwin Visual Arts Association (DVAA), featuring selected works from their first members exhibition of 2020, Climate
DVAA is an artist-run space committed to the advancement of contemporary art that is relevant in the local, national and international context. Its goals are focused on effectively supporting the development of Territory artists through creating comprehensive hands-on opportunities, particularly in terms of curatorial refinement and professional presentation.
DVAA artists have responded to this theme through a mixture of painting, mixed media, ink on paper, printmaking, recycled sculpture and digital print. The featured artists include Alicia Scobie, Anne-marie Cullinan, Alison Worsnop, Fernanda Dupal, David Dalzell, Ella Barrett and Kate Bussey. 

Interim DVAA manager Britt Guy provides the following curatorial rationale: “Climate Change is on the tip of everyone’s tongue from politicians, farmers to climate scientists and young people. Opinions differ but everyone has one. The City of Darwin has declared a climate emergency, and this is a fantastic opportunity for the community to reflect on social, political and environmental elements of this international phenomena.”

Many thanks to Shauna Upton (DVAA Manager), the crew from Sign City Darwin and all participating artists.


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