TASMANIAN artist Matt Calvert has won a contract to create public art in the heart of the City of Glenorchy – the largest in Council’s history.
The public art was commissioned as part of the $5.795 million Glenorchy CBD Revitalisation Project, which aims to make the area more usable for pedestrians by minimising the impact of vehicles and providing street art, feature lighting and wide pavements.
Mr Calvert, a widely collected Australian-based sculptor who works primarily with toughened glass, aluminium and Corten steel, is known for incorporating low maintenance recycled materials in his pieces, which work and age well in a variety of light and weather.
This environmentally-friendly approach to public art is in line with Council’s vision to create a clean, safe and vibrant city that makes all residents and community members proud.
Moonah Arts Centre coordinator of arts and culture Eleanor Downes said Council’s vision for public art in Glenorchy was to reflect the City, its people and their diversity, and to celebrate local distinctiveness.
“Public art has the potential to enrich and enliven people’s experiences of and connection to public space and therefore their city, suburb and environment,” she said.
“It can also engender ownership and pride in public space, especially if its development has involved the community in some way.”
Mr Calvert began consulting with the community in early June, conducting workshops and presentations with students at Dominic College, Austins Ferry Primary School, Claremont College and Collinsvale Primary School.
“Most of July has also been spent engaging with the community to hear their ideas and suggestions,” Mr Calvert said.
“This has included interviewing members of the migrant and refugee community at the Migrant Resource Centre, ‘stop and chat’ sessions in the Glenorchy CBD, Glenorchy Central and Northgate, as well as ‘bus chats’ with locals on Metro buses.”
Following significant consultation with the Glenorchy community, Mr Calvert is currently working on a concept to submit to the selection committee and will await final approval before he commences the design and build stages.
Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston said Council recognised that provision for public art was integral to the urban renewal process, starting with the Glenorchy CBD Revitalisation.
“The public art will reflect the new confidence of the City as we venture into the 21st century,” she said.
“It also supports the Glenorchy Community Plan 2015-2040 goal of making lives better, thereby contributing to a safe, inclusive, active and vibrant community.”
Caption: Artist Matt Calvert, right, and Child and Family Centre Chigwell centre leader M’Lynda Stubbs next to some of Mr Calvert’s earlier work.