In collaboration with Landsite, Creative Road and Armsign, PublicArt Works recently completed the first practical design work to advance the implementation of The Lindsay Art Trail, a cultural tourism project led by Hepburn Shire Council in Regional Victoria.
Re-named, Creswick of the Lindsays the project provides the little known gold rush town of Creswick with an authentic tourism opportunity which no other place in Australia can replicate. The Lindsay family, born in Creswick in the 1800 and 1900’s produced more artists than any other family in our history. The five artists – Percy, Lionel, Norman, Ruby and Daryl – all significantly contributed to shaping the cultural landscape of Australia.
The project was conceived as an economic development initiative to stimulate the local economy with economic and cultural development benefits flowing to the local community. Design elements were carefully conceived to improve the amenity of Creswick‘s places, enhance local identity and enrich the cultural life of the community.
Rather than a map with sites joined by numbered dots the design approach was a holistic one, less linear and aimed at an experience which is flexible, diverse, integrated, layered, accessible, responsive to change and infinitely expansive. The result is a cultural tourism product with three key elements – the walked experience, an audio tour (via smart phone technology) and a printed map.
Design elements produced in consultation with key stakeholders include:
- Landscape streetscape features/improvements
- Interpretive signage
- Artworks integrated with interpretive signage
- Art seating & street sculptural elements
- Two dimensional graphic and hand painted street art elements
- Marketing & Style guide
Public Art Strategy
The best public art around the world is essentially interpretive. It has the power to make the invisible, visible, bring to life the stories and narratives of places in ways that express local history and help build and bind communities. The long term success of the artwork rests on its ability to creatively interpret the identity of its place and people and the integration of the artwork elements within its site.
Creswick of the Lindsays artwork program was guided by the following principles:
- A focus on activating the main street & the visitor centre site
- Production of a suite of art-sign-urban elements
- Engaging artists in efficient ways
- Infusing all built elements with an artistic component
- Emphasis on long term, low maintenance, cost effective solutions
- Staged approach to outcomes based on budget realities
- Creating professional opportunities for local artists where appropriate
One component of the art program, designed to interpret the stories of the Lindsay family in a contemporary and engaging, was the recommendation to engage Melbourne artist, Miso, an experienced street artist who has a rare pictorial style which is both contemporary and historic.
Miso’s artworks (see below) will be spread across five sites throughout Creswick – locations will be site specific, clever and curious places – adding a contemporary, youthful aesthetic and leveraging Australia’s increasing interest in contemporary street art. Thematically fitting with a street art philosophy, the artist will be encouraged to celebrate the Lindsay family’s anti-establishment, atheist and bohemian attitudes.
Construction of Creswick of the Lindsays is expected to begin in 2014.
Lionel Lindsay (Aus., 1874-1961) Morning Tea, 1924 Wood engraving
Image depicts Lionel Lindsay and his wife, Jane on the verandah of their house. Held in the National Gallery of Australia collection