Port Stephens’ push for public art

Carmen Holden of Soldiers Point Marina with the chain sculpture ‘Bubble and Squeak’. Photo by Marian Sampson
Carmen Holden of Soldiers Point Marina with the chain sculpture ‘Bubble and Squeak’. Photo by Marian Sampson


PUBLIC Art can sometimes be a topic of controversy.

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Port Stephens Graffiti Action Team (GAT) is in staunch opposition to murals, as they see the link between public art murals and graffiti as a progression.

GAT volunteers have been removing graffiti from our streetscapes for eight years.

A spokesperson for GAT told News Of The Area, “Port Stephens Graffiti Action Team has over time opposed the graffiti style murals found in some areas.

“These are often angry in theme, therefore not of universal appeal to all that pass; they are often not of durable paint so deteriorate rapidly and require refurbishment.

“Above all they have been found to attract other graffiti art or tags on them or in the vicinity near them, thus downgrading the area rather than uplifting it,” they said.

Port Stephens Council is conducting a public art survey which asks about the importance of public art to the community, recognising what public art is already situated in Port Stephens and the types of public art that the community would like to see in the area.

Port Stephens Council’s Acting Community Development & Engagement Coordinator, Elizabeth Akerman told News Of The Area, “The public art survey we are running at the moment is to help Council gain a better understanding of our community’s appetite for public art; it’s helpful for us to know how the community values public art, along with any concerns or questions they may have in relation to it.”

“The upcoming Cultural Interagency is focused around public art and placemaking in Port Stephens; public art is a key element of placemaking, creating vibrancy in a space and strengthening the identity of the community it represents.
“Place activation in a central space is a great way to create positive flow-on effects for local business, and industries such as tourism.

“Art should be accessible and shared, and the public domain is an inclusive place for art to be enjoyed by the entire community,” she said.

Soldiers Point Marina has been active in building a collection of public art with six significant pieces on display on the Marina Precinct.

The Nelson Bay Sculpture Festival saw Council acquire the sea urchins on the Nelson Bay foreshore along with a fish which is installed at Raymond Terrace, the Lyre Bird and Gymea Lily Leaves which were also acquired are still to be installed by Council.

The survey closes on 13 November and will be followed by a Cultural Interagency workshop which is being held at Broughtons at d’Albora Marinas at Nelson Bay on 14 November.

If you are interested in having your say on the future of public art in Port Stephens visit www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au and complete the survey or RSVP to attend the Cultural Interagency on 14 November.



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