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Cairns invests over $3 million in public art

Cairns invests over $3 million in public art
February 13, 2020

Cairns Council has invested over $3 million in public art from 2012 to 2018, with 135 new artworks commissioned or acquired for public space.

A Public Art Review which assessed projects delivered as part of Council’s Public Art Policy from 2012/13 to 2017/18 financial years included the following key highlights:

  • Council invested about $3.03 million in new public artworks, managing existing public art and public art programs.
  • 135 new artworks were commissioned or acquired for public space
  • Integrated cultural programming has seen public art as a key feature in around six local festivals and events
  • 165 documented employment opportunities have been created for a diverse range of contributing professionals, including artists, project managers, curators, fabricators, engineers and design specialists
  • Restoration and repair was undertaken on seven significant public art assets and the full collection of Cairns public art (194 artworks) was catalogued and promoted on the new Cairns Arts and Culture Map.

The outcomes of the Review aligned to the core principles and objectives of Council’s Public Art Policy, including the position of Cairns as the arts and cultural capital of Northern Australia.

One such public artwork unveiled on the Cairns Esplanade in 2017 is the Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef conveying a social movement to engage the world in the future of the World Heritage area.

Nationally recognised Torres Strait Islander artist Brian Robinson was commissioned to create the artwork that anchors Cairns as the primary entry point for visitors to the Reef.  His 6 metre-high and 11 metre-wide helix depicts a wave of marine creatures and birds led by a life-size stingray to reflect the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.

Framing the view to the Reef from the Cairns Esplanade, the Citizens Gateway inspires those who walk beneath it and see their reflection in its mirror-polish stainless steel to think about their connection to the Great Barrier Reef.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) initiated this public art project. Other funding partners for the artwork included Australian Government - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; Queensland Government – Arts Queensland and Commonwealth Games Public Domain Improvement Program; Ports North and Cairns Regional Council

Creation of the artwork involved collaboration with local Traditional Owners the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji and the Yirrganydji people, artist Brian Robinson, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef (CoGBR) Foundation, Cairns Regional Council, curators and project managers CREATIVEMOVE, fabricators UAP and site designer Total Project Group Architects.

Image show art of the Cairns Esplanade.

Related Articles

7th February 2020 - New Council magazine focuses on Cairns’ arts and cultural scene

16th January 2020 - Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns rebranded as Bulmba-ja Arts Centre

23rd December 2019 - City of Sydney and Sydney Living Museums to install new public art installation

13th September 2019 - Cairns Performing Arts Centre sees rise in attendance and ticket sales

13th September 2019 - City of Hobart supports investment in Public Art

15th August 2019 - New Chief Executive appointed at Tourism Tropical North Queensland

31st July 2019 - Tourism Tropical North Queensland partnerships help Chinese visitors gain insight into Green Island

12th July 2019 - Cairns arts and culture thrives through Queensland Government investment

16th April 2019 - Tanks Arts Centre named one of Queensland’s Best Experiences

15th February 2019 - Carriageworks and Kaldor Public Art Projects partner for major art presentation

8th December 2018 - Carriageworks announce New Public Artwork commissioned for South Eveleigh

17th February 2016 - Artists sought for new Perth museum public art project

23rd June 2015 - Albury art museum to reimagine the concept of public art

24th March 2015 - City of Hobart’s new public art project presents wildflowers, wildlife and waymarkers

27th February 2015 - Museums Australia responds to calls for a new body for public art galleries

27th November 2013 - Study reveals the impact of Public Art Museums

19th June 2013 - Iranian art entrepreneur to open Dubai’s first public art museum


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