GROW your ideas: Expressions of interest now open

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Andrea Simpson

Bankstown Arts Centre is offering artists multiple opportunities to showcase their talents by exploring ideas of urban growth across six site-specific locations.
GROW your ideas: Expressions of interest now open

Image: CrossCurrents Installations by Carlos Agamez. Supplied.

With an estimated population of over 350,000, the City of Canterbury Bankstown is home to a thriving multicultural community. A recent projected forecast will see an astounding increase of 150,000 people in the next 20 years. With a booming population, urban growth issues arise including lack of community spaces, infrastructure, transport, and housing.

The council is advocating on behalf of residents, to ensure the NSW Government delivers that required infrastructure to support the growth.

In order to encourage the local artistic community to participate in this discussion, Bankstown Arts Centre has come up with an ingenious initiative. Six artists, or artistic groups, will be picked to develop new site-specific works in the Bankstown CBD. Artists are required to centre their proposals on urban growth needs; urban biodiversity; environmental sustainability; Western Sydney’s heat island; renewable energies; alternate technologies; and encouraging community connections.

Vandana Ram, Director, Bankstown Arts Centre, said: ‘What we are looking at is the development of site-specific artworks, with the artists exploring the concept of urban growth. I’d say this is a paramount issue that is affecting each one of us as individuals, living specifically in the inner-west and the Canterbury-Bankstown area.

Learn more: GROW Art & Ecology: Expression of interest  

‘We are dealing with very accelerated urban consolidation issues, so I thought it would be an interesting way for artists to look at the impact of issues, such as the heat island in Western Sydney or the need for green space, which is something is being mapped out at the moment. So this is not just about artists imagining the future, it’s about tangible issues. There is master planning happening in our precinct over the next year or two and it would be great to get artists to work with the planners.’

Image: Bankstown Arts Centre. Supplied.


The call-out for artists is underway. ‘We encourage artists who either work or live in Western Sydney to express their interest because we want to support them.'

Ram urged visual and multi-disciplinary artists to apply. ‘It is pretty broadly-based, but we are looking primarily for visual arts. It can be photography, sculpture, installation work or new media.’

The areas which Bankstown Arts Centre is keen for artists to transform are:

FORECOURT/FOYER: The paved forecourt and foyer of Bankstown Arts Centre is suitable for roving temporary & mobile interactive works;

COURTYARD: The Internal Courtyard of Bankstown Arts Centre is a large outdoor grassed area suitable for temporary installations;

IMAGINE WALL: A large outdoor wall (dimensions 20m L x 2.4m H) at Bankstown Arts Centre suitable for mural and street art;

BUS STOP GALLERY: 20 x A2 public frames installed at Bankstown Bus Stop Interchange. Suitable for text-based work, graphic, digital art, photographs;

WINDOW VITRINE: Three large window vitrine suitable for installations, sculpture, ceramics etc. Limited plinths available; and

OLYMPIC PARADE TREES/LAWN: A large tree-lined grassed area outside the Arts Centre. It is suitable for temporary installations on the lawn or trees.

Successful artists will each receive $3,000 per site.

Ram is excited about the new ideas that will spring from the GROW initiative and looks forward to the precinct’s transformation.

‘We sit in a very interesting and vibrant CBD, right in the heart of Bankstown, where there are fantastic Vietnamese, Lebanese and other culturally diverse communities thriving around us,’ she said.

‘Rather than waiting for things to happen, it’s great for the artists to be part of that process, and work on something really tangible and offer some ideas of imagination and vision – to truly shape how we want our environment to be.’

Click here for GROW: Expression of interest application form

About the author

Andrea Simpson is ArtsHub's Feature Writer and Reviews Editor. Andrea is a Filipino-Australian writer with a love for diverse Australian stories. She is curious about all forms of art, though she has an especially keen interest in the publishing sector.

Andrea has had short stories published in various anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel.  

You can follow Andrea on Instagram @andi_jayyy