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.
City of Darwin Lightbox Exhibitions Program
Darwin is lighting up the city with the Lightbox Exhibitions program (previously called CITYLIFE Platform).
The City of Darwin Lightbox Exhibitions Program works with curators to showcase local artists, encourages community dialogue around topical themes and activates our public spaces through the installation of an alternating aesthetic element.
Ten purpose-built lightboxes host temporary exhibitions that change every six months. The City of Darwin releases an Expression of Interest process each year for local curators to apply.
The lightboxes are located in three sites across Darwin:
- The Mall in the city centre hosts two double-sided lightboxes at each end
- Dragonfly Carpark hosts three single-sided lightboxes (Chinatown)
- Nightcliff Pool hosts three single-sided lightboxes
Current Exhibition: Bird Story
Exhibitions dates: September 2023 - February 2024
Exhibitions sites: 4 in The Smith Street Mall, Darwin CBD, 3 at the entrance to the Dragonfly Carpark (Chinatown), Smith Street, and outside the entrance to Nightcliff Pool.
Bird Story has been curated by The Artful Room for the City of Darwin’s Lightbox Exhibitions program and includes a diverse selection of art works by local, emerging, mid-career and established artists. This collection of artworks explores the connections the artists have with bird life, local places, and the joy and wonder of living together with nature.
Birds are a common presence in the Top End, and a thread we can share as part of calling Darwin home. There’s something about local bird calls, that can tell you that you are home or in a new place. Their presence and sounds can feed into our sense of belonging and cultural connection and inform us of different seasons and patterns in nature. Whether it’s the call of the Bush Stone-Curlew at night, the honk of a Magpie Goose overhead in the wet or the flash of a finch in a backyard, we can be connected by shared experiences of local bird life.
The Artful Room is proud to showcase 10 artworks from their selection of artists. The artists presenting in this exhibition series are:
- Leslie Nawirridj
- Alison Dowell
- Carla Russo
- Karen Fletcher
- Thomas Higgs
- Kathryn Dwyer
- Robert Walter
- Samantha Sabaratnam
- Ange McCann- Bateman
- Catherine Miles
The Artful Room are the proud curators of Bird Story. Situated in Nightcliff, The Artful Room runs art workshops for adults, young people, and children. If you’d like to find out more about the exhibition’s artists featured and The Artful Room’s workshop programs visit www.theartfulroom.com.au or contact Carla on 0410 920 168
- Born to Be Wild
Exhibitions dates: March - August 2023
‘Born to be Wild’ has been curated by Wild North Arts Inc for the City of Darwin’s Lightbox Exhibitions program (previously called CITYLIFE Platform) and includes a range of art works from local comic art creatives including emerging, mid-career and established artists. This is the first time that the Lightbox Exhibitions program has featured a series dedicated to the comic design genre.
The chosen theme behind ‘Born to be Wild’ delves into both recognisable and wild aspects of living in the top end, as well as other ideas linked to sci-fi realms, mythological creatures, and natural surroundings.
Wild North Arts Inc have selected works that incorporate the theme driven by the selected comic-based artists, many of whom have previously or are yet to feature in their Wild North Comic printed publications.
Wild North Arts Inc are proud to showcase 10 artworks from their selection of artists, some of whom they have worked with previously and others they are excited to be working with for the first time.
The artists presenting in the exhibition are:
- Ariel Racines
- Emmanuelle Aliotti
- Mat ‘Blue’ Selwyn
- Theofilos Rigas
- Jonathon Saunders
- Dan Hartney
- Rosharn Deslandes
- Todd Williams
- Timothy Parish
- Anneke P. Putri
If you’d like to find out more about the exhibition and the Wild North Comics artists featured, please click here or contact Timothy below:
- Looking Forward
Exhibitions dates: September 2022 - February 2023
‘Looking Forward’ was curated by Proper Creative for the City of Darwin Lightbox Exhibitions Program and included a fresh range of art works from local creatives including newly emerging, mid-career and established artists.
The chosen theme of ‘Looking Forward’ focused on how we look forward and considered how our future is influenced and shaped by our past and the people and stories who came before us.
Proper Creative selected works that incorporated the theme in whatever way the artists had decided to interpret it and had aimed to include as diverse an array of local creatives as possible with regards to culture, gender, identity, experience and style.
Proper Creative, who also manage the Darwin Street Art Festival, were excited to showcase 10 artworks from artists; some of whom they have worked with previously and others they are thrilled to be working with for the first time.
The artists presented in the exhibition are:
- Dani Heilbronn
- Caleb Dude
- Mim Cole
- Denique Stewart
- Jason Lee
- Levin A. Diatschenko
- Izzy Craven
- Molly Hunt
- Marita Albers
- PRESSplay (Amelia Luscombe and Jocelyn Tribe).
- Night and Day
Exhibitions dates: March - August 2022
Night and Day showcases a fresh range of bright works from Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Creative and Digital Arts students. Sarah Pirrie, our partnering exhibition curator, and CDU Creative and Digital Arts Coordinator has skilfully selected a collection of pieces that respond to the theme Night and Day from the artistic cohort of current digital media students. “Just like the lightboxes which illuminate both day and night our CDU Creatives have considered the thematic of Night and Day through engagement with site; storytelling and placemaking are attuned to personal histories and encounters with Darwin’s living environment”.
The artists presented in the exhibition are:
- Shannan Hayes
- Nikita Kafetzis
- Aaron Othman
- Rafael Lontoc
- Thuy Truong
- Isabelle Henderson
- Jemma Petch
This exhibition series showcases the talent of CDU Creative and Digital arts students in partnership with the City of Darwin.
- Home Turf: Adventures in Art
Exhibitions dates: 18 April - October 2021
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
The exhibition showcases the artistic talent Darwin's young people have to offer.
- Kaleb Tester (only 12 years old)
- Ifa Shiddiq
- Chlarisse Bala
- Merlin Martin
- Colby Thomas
- Isabella Henderson
- Eren Fraser
- Climate Change - 2020
Exhibition dates: Friday 3 April to Friday 4 September 2020
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.
Hero image courtesy of Paz Tassone