Nine tips to win public art commissions

Public art commissions are a rich source of income for artists but public funding makes them notoriously bureaucratic. Cut through the red tape.

As we scan the horizon with its countless heroic bronzes and “big things”, it’s easy to believe public art commissions are only for artist who work to monumental proportions.

But ​the stakeholders commissioning today’s public art are interested in site responsiveness and the way the community can interact with the work. They include Steven Russel’s quiet ​Human ​Sundials along Bondi’s sea wall evoking Koori seasonal stories and WA’s Alina Tang’s ephemeral Tussie Mussies, a mobile flower cart where the artist prepares customised bouquets for members of the public as a catalyst for engagement about female identity and strength.

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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