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Ten artists showcasing temporary artworks which explore and examine issues of urban growth in the Bankstown CBD.
1. Breeze Block is a homage to the concrete breeze blocks of suburban architecture as well as a reflection on the heat island of Western Sydney. Emerging from the groundplane, the installation offers a shady respite for audiences. As a square form, it is also reminiscent of a giant ice cube.
Born in Sydney, Emma Anna graduated with a Masters of Art (Art in Public Space) from RMIT University in 2009 and has since worked for local councils throughout Australia, New Zealand and the US creating public projects with an emphasis on text, colour, modes of communication and the idea of 'the mass'.
2. Created in collaboration with the Bankstown Community, Spirit Town works with the holistic idea that the spirit of a place evolves through complex and diverse relationships. It asks how this spirit might continue to flourish in the face of rapid urban transformation in Bankstown.
Gabrielle Bates explores how we remember, understand and experience place. She has undertaken local and international studio residencies and participated in numerous awards including the Portia Geach Portraiture Prize, North Sydney Art Prize, Mandorla Art Prize, Tim Olsen Drawing Prize, Blacktown Art Prize and the Wollongong Bicentennial Sculpture Award.
3. T.A.G. Project: a temporary activated garden is about inhabiting a liminal space and activating it; a potential site for social and ecological engagement; somewhere to sit, to read, to have a conversation, to connect; a pop-up garden. Actions, small-scale performances, will draw in people both as spectators and participants, with each happening leaving some trace of its passing.
Alessandro Berini and Selina Springett are Sydney-based artists working primarily in the community and public art sector. Their work seeks to creatively engage people to consider social and ecological concerns with most of their works involving sound and utilising re-purposed or sustainable materials. They have been collaborating for the last three years, achieving a high level of success in winning awards and commissions and have recently begun operating under the name Atelier 23.
4. From the micro to the macro scale; Rootlings explores an abstracted view of the plant cell, root and structural biology that converts the suns power to energy; vascular networks that transport essential water, nutrients and sugars for growth; and complex communication systems via airborne and sub-surface root and mycelium chemical signal exchange. This acts as a metaphor for growing urban infrastructure and communication service networks that expanding cities depend on. Nature and technology compete with each other for space above and beneath our feet.
VERTEBRAE, founded by Graham Chalcroft; is a multi-disciplinary studio that intersects art with science, environmental, and heritage contexts to create site-specific public art, cultural planning, and socially engaged placemaking responses for built and natural environments. Graham holds a Master's Degree in Public Art & Design, Chelsea School of Art, UK.
Instagram @vertebrae_public art
5. The Leaf Message sculpture is about creating a positive message from the Bankstown community. The leaf shape is symbolic of growth and the natural environment – the core theme of this art event.
Providing this skeletal shape opens up an opportunity to "voice" a message of love, faith, hope or dreams or goodwill as individuals. The messages written on paper fill the voids in the leaf shape to create a completed work of art. It will be a positive symbol of the community's hopes for themselves as individuals and as a society.
Vivienne Lowe is a Sydney based sculptor whose work varies from the intricate detailing of the handmade to stylized organic forms. Linking her work are themes such as character, love, memory: "creating a tangible form to express the intangible". Her sculptural exploration of how people connect with one another and their environment echoes from her background in landscape architecture.
6. Urban Shell Shock explores urban growth along railway lines and train stations. The continually changing skyline and the increasing construction noise are a shock to my system during my daily commute. The installation is made up of 8,049 free range egg shells and yes, all eaten, washed, cleaned, dried and stored by me since 2010.
The egg represents creation, rebirth and life and it also represents a mass-produced, uniformed and consumed product that is similar to how the latest architecture and established suburbs are starting to look like.
Based in a Marrickville studio, Basilios Papaioannou combines his background in landscape architecture and sculpture to produce work based on urban sprawl and the impact it has on today's society. His medium is found and recycled objects ranging from egg shells, toilet paper rolls, used furniture, real estate signs and everyday mass-produced.
7. Rolling Musical Screech is a series of printed signs on posts with images of birds and the descriptions of the bird's voices that inhabit the park surrounding the Bankstown Arts Centre. The work uses the ubiquitous road sign form to draw people's attention to local birds and their often unheard songs and voices. The selection of birds – the Magpie, Fig Bird, Ibis, Koel and Indian Myna is a mix of endemic, migratory and introduced species to the area. Bird communities are like human communities targeted, displaced and vulnerable in a rapidly changing urban environment with high-density housing, new transport systems and the removal of trees, parklands and waterways.
Sue Pedley is a mid-career artist who researches place, community, culture and history in relation to materiality through site-specific installation and interdisciplinary practice. Sue has worked with musicians, architects and designers and has been invited to work with urban and rural communities in Australia and Japan. Sue explores ways to reformulate the basic elements of time, light and space and experiments with different materials and their connection to place.
8. Synergy of Mankind: Growing up today has a lot more challenges than a few decades ago.
Especially in an urban environment, it becomes harder for children to connect to their inner wilder self where imaginary worlds are created and explored. This is mostly due to the lack of nature around them. Extra curriculum and after-school tutoring and video games can also take time away from and unstructured play.
Mandy Schöne-Salter is an interdisciplinary artist working in urban art, photography and community art. She studied photography at the Nepean Arts and Design Centre and participated in an intensive Public Art workshop led by New York Artist Kendal Henry. Since 2013 Mandy has worked on multiple street art projects in Australia and Germany under the synonym MAN.De.
Facebook @mandy.schoenesalterInstagram @artist_man.de
9. City Dreams is a series of drawings that explore an imaginary, future Bankstown and surrounds. The drawings take the existing fibro shacks, red-brick flats and shopping malls, and consider how these will be transformed as Bankstown's population continues to boom. The results range from the fantastical skybridges covered in public gardens to the more mundane high-rise flats crammed together.
City Dreams encourages others to explore their ideas for the future of Western Sydney.
Kate Smith grew up in the Western Sydney region, before moving away to study at art school in Adelaide and Canberra, where she specialised in drawing and printmaking. She has held six solo exhibitions; her last show was Locomotion at Braemar Gallery, Springwood.