Car park activation: is it art?

Are car park art activations valid public art or lazy developer obligation? We look at the opportunities and trends.

Colour blocking in car parks is a ubiquitous form of wayfinding that we subconsciously register – Yellow = Level 3. But what if these incredibly high-volume traffic zones were a little bit more creative in engaging their captive audiences?

It is not a new idea; but we would like to think it was one that is ripe for growing.

One Australian arts company working in this area is Art Pharmacy. It takes its experience of working with developers and councils and pushes the idea that car parks can also be ‘culture parks’, capturing visitors earlier in their destination journey and narrative.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina