Nicole Monks commissioned for Coast Walk Public Art Program

Northern Beaches

Award-winning designer and artist Nicole Monks has been engaged to deliver a new public artwork at McKillop Park on Freshwater’s headland as part of the Coast Walk Public Art project.

Northern Beaches CEO Ray Brownlee said Ms Monks company mili mili was selected from 38 high-quality submissions by Council’s Public Art Selection Panel.

“We’re so pleased to have Ms Monk be involved in this major project. It will become a significant destination as part of the 36km track.

“We are excited to see how Nicole’s artwork will form a dialogue with the natural environment, share Aboriginal continuing culture and creatively articulate and enhance this incredible place.

“The Coast Walk stretches from Manly to Palm Beach connecting and celebrating some of Sydney’s most iconic beaches and surf breaks, ocean rock pools, aquatic reserves, surf lifesaving clubs, headlands, lagoons, archaeological sites and places of significant local heritage. Adding public art along the track will make this walk even more memorable.” Mr Brownlee said.

For the McKillop Park project, Council invited Australian and international artists to submit proposals for this highly visible and iconic site on the Coast Walk.

Ms Monks said that this project will reflect her strong ties to Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration.

“I’m looking forward to listening to the Continuing Custodians and learning about Country. Collaborating with local mob to create a place that inspires a deeper connection and respect for this Country’s Continuing Custodians is important.

“This Country holds layers of unseen stories; these stories are made visible when Community share knowledge of place,” said Ms Monks.

“The headland offers the community and visitors the opportunity to have breathing space from the busy-ness of the city, to slow down and reconnect with nature and the stories of this significant place.

“This project will symbolise the beginning of a new journey, and the revitalisation of the history and culture of this place.”

The project is currently in the community engagement and design development stage.

The artist will engage with local Aboriginal stakeholders and local communities through early 2022 and aims to install the artwork in late 2022.

About the artist

Nicole Monks is a multi-disciplinary creative of Yamaji Wajarri, Dutch and English heritage, living and working on Worimi and Awabakal Country (Newcastle). Monks’ practice is informed by her cross-cultural identity, using storytelling as a way to connect the past with the present and future. Her works take a conceptual approach, are embedded in narrative and aim to promote conversation and connection.

An award-winning designer and artist, Monks crosses disciplines to work with furniture and objects, video, installation, performance and public art. Across these varied forms of art and design, her work reflects Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration. Monks is renowned for her success as both a solo and collaborative artist and is the founder of design practice blackandwhite creative, as well as Continuing Custodians public art company mili mili.

Monks currently holds the position as a Professor of Practice for the UNSW School of Art, Design and Architecture, sits on the UNSW Galleries Advisory Board, the Design Advisory Panel for the Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and is a

Design Institute of Australia Continuing Custodian Advisor.

Monks was the winner of UNSW Art & Design Indigenous Professional Development Award, ArtsNSW Aboriginal Design Grant, Vivid Design competition (furniture) and Museums and Galleries of NSW IMAGinE award winner. Monks’ works are in national collections, including the Powerhouse, Museum of Applied Arts and Science (MAAS), National Gallery of Victoria, Macquarie Group Collection, Art Gallery of WA and Museum of Art and Culture, Lake Macquarie.

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