Urban Public Art

I’m currently working on supergaphic designs for cafe precincts on the lower North Shore and Sydney city.

Many cities around the world are incorporating colour supergraphics and urban public art into cafe precincts and the broader urban landscape. Supergraphics and murals are a way of transforming and revitalising the built environment, and they encourage engagement and interaction in areas that need transformation or in specific-use areas such as cafe precincts and plazas.

A new and unique approach to urban design, colour supergaphics have recently appeared in locations as diverse as New York city, Copenhagen and Kalgoorlie.

In the Garment District, New York, a supergraphic weaves its way along two car-free blocks on Broadway between 36th Street and 39th Street (2017). It delineates a new ‘Urban Garden’ plaza that features cafes, planters, street furniture open to pedestrians only. The interwoven pattern represents the rich tapestry of people, businesses and history of the garment district in NYC. The Garment District Alliance @garmentdistrictnyc commissioned the mural as part of an initiative to revitalize the district and it was designed and painted by Steed Taylor @steed_taylor Image credit: @etchingsofnyc This image shows the supergraphic work in progress.

This is Superkilen public park in Nørrebro, a district of Copenhagen, Denmark. The project is part of an urban improvement plan coordinated by the City of Copenhagen in partnership with Realdania – a private Danish association which supports philanthropic projects and whose aim is to improve the quality of life and benefit the common good by improving the built environment. Designed by the Danish arts group Superflex in collaboration with Bjarke Ingels Group (architects, designers, builders) and Topotek1, a German landscape architecture firm. The park has a total area of 30,000sqm and includes a large green park, a ‘black’ market and a red square painted in saturated red, pink and orange. The park won the 2013 AIA Honor Award in the Regional & Urban Design category, American Institute of Architects and is shortlisted for the Design of the Year, Design Museum London. Image credit: @digitalglobe via @dailyoverview .

Western Australia’s regional towns boast some of the most innovative and supportive arts initiatives in the country. In Kalgoorlie, WA, 22 local artists are contributing murals for the Heartwalk initiative which will run from 2017 to 2018. Heartwalk aims to revitalise and transform Kalgoorlie CBD including vacant shopfronts in Hannan Street. The initative, supported by a number of organisations including the WA Government Department of Regional Development, Country Arts WA, and the City of Kalgoorlie, came about after a period of social disruption. ‘Wild and Free’ mural is by Brendan See and its on Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie (2017).

These silos in Northam, WA (100km east-north-east of Perth) were transformed by US-based artist Hense and UK-based Phlegm. Andrew Nicholls, curator for FORM, the arts organisation that has brought Hense and Phlegm, says that arts-based initiatives and artists like Hense have revitalised regional twons and also brought greater involvement and recognition for local Aboriginal artists.

This is a supergaphic project at Museum Street, Perth (2016).

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