Sydney Metro North West – Public art advisor

Sydney Metro North West – Public art advisor

Client: Transport for NSW
Year: 2014–2017

Publicart Works was engaged by TfNSW as public art technical advisor to oversee the planning and development of artworks at stations from Cherrybrook to Tallawong. Having prepared the initial public art strategy for in 2013, TfNSW engaged Merran Morrison to advise on its implementation.

Our key role was to oversee the compliance for public art requirements in the  State Government Deed agreement by the consortium (NRT) charged with the construction and operation of SMNW.  This included maintaining artistic content, and advocating for public art that contributed to social activation and community engagement.

We provided evaluation and feedback on the evolving public art plan prepared by artists and architects on the delivery team.  Artists Michalie Crawford  (TCS), and Peter McGregor(MWA) were engaged by Hassell Studio to collaborate on the curatorial strategy and public art plan.

“Light Line Social Square” aims to create a sense of delight and respite, belonging, and engagement for the community, elevating the sense of a quality journey for the customer.”  Michaelie Crawford & Peter McGregor.  (A further description of Light Line Social Square can be explored here)

Our role was to ensure that the artwork proposed represented value to TfNSW.    This involved advising  SM staff and managers on international best practice on public art in metro systems, and ensuring the NRT consortium met TfNSW expectations for high-quality art.  There was an emphasis on how public art should activate the station precincts and improve the overall passenger experience by integrating the art program into the design of station identity, wayfinding, heritage interpretation as well as cultural engaging the community when the train line became operational.

Other responsibilities included preparing Ministerial briefings on the Metro art experience, convening the SM Public Art Reference Group,  and providing updates and feedback on the public art program to internal stakeholders.   We also developed a framework for virtual heritage interpretation using digital platforms linking stations with heritage walking tours that addressed indigenous and European narratives.

Image credits: Turpin Crawford Studio, Peter McGregor (MWA) and Hassell, ‘Light Line Social Square’, Castle Hill Station, (render) 2019. Image courtesy of Hassell