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Massive public art opportunity in Western Australia

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Brooke Boland

The City of Mandurah is calling for artists to create a new work that reflects community memories of a cherished local site.
Massive public art opportunity in Western Australia

Aerial view of the proposed Mandurah Bridge. Image supplied.

As cities grow and evolve, so does the infrastructure that supports residents and visitors. In Mandurah, a seaside city located in in Western Australia, these changes have meant the removal of the Old Mandurah Bridge that connects the eastern and western foreshores. Originally built in 1954, the old bridge holds important memories for the community: for some it’s a favourite fishing spot, for others a popular cycling or walking path.

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The need to replace the bridge has presented the local government with an opportunity to commission a public art work which captures and reflects such memories. 

The EOI for Mandurah Bridge public artwork has been extended to 21 November 2017

Mayor Marina Vergone said the City of Mandurah’s approach to the artwork exemplifies the vision for Mandurah as a connected and forward-thinking city that honours its past, celebrates the present and embraces its future.

‘We know that this is such an important crossing that not only connects our city geographically but also our community spirit,’ she said.

The City of Mandurah is calling for expressions of interest from artists to create a landmark public art work to compliment the new Mandurah Bridge. This is a rare opportunity for an important water crossing. The City is looking for a multi-disciplinary artist or collective who will embrace a collaborative approach with the local Mandurah community to developing and deliver the new work. The total artwork budget is $500,000 and shortlisted artists will be paid $2,000 for their concept presentation. EOI's close November 21.

View EOI and artist brief here

The City of Mandurah has two identified locations. Following extensive community feedback, the fishing platform on the eastern foreshore from the old bridge is being kept. Part of the community engagement initially undertaken indicated that the fishing platforms hold a lot of memories and stories for people so it was important to incorporate it into the new bridge. 

‘This is such a rare and exciting opportunity for an artist to create a piece to enhance one of the biggest infrastructure projects that our city has ever seen,’ Mayor Vergone said.

A brainstorming day, called Bridging Culture, was held in May and offered community members an opportunity to work with artists and other stakeholders to identify elements they would like to see the artwork represent.

The ideas generated by the workshop have formed part of the briefing process for artists responding to the City’s expression of interest to create the public artwork/s.

The City of Mandurah is keen to receive EOI’s that demonstrate a commitment to community consultation and involvement as well as an aesthetically sophisticated design.

The EOI is open to international artists, but the City is keen to encourage collaboration between local emerging artists and established artists as well.

‘We hope to push the boundaries of public art by using new and interactive technologies that will create evolving points of interest and become synonymous with Mandurah,’ said Mayor Vergone.

To find out more about the site and EOI, visit Mandurah City Council

The City has been overwhelmed with responses to the Expressions Of Interest for the Mandurah Bridge public artwork.

To give artists the chance to fully develop their artistic concepts, the closing date for the EOI has been extended to 21 November 2017. All enquiries should be directed to tenders@mandurah.wa.gov.au or posted on the Tenderlink forum for public response.

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.

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