Christmas in the Mall will look a little different this year as COVID restrictions mean our usual festive events are on hold for 2020.
However, we’ve decked out the Wollongong Mall with an array of merry and bright Christmas decorations and lights. And, we’ve worked with a number of artists to help deliver some creative and vibrant festive cheer to the Crown Street Mall.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, and Christmas is a chance for us to come together and celebrate. This year our focus for the annual CBD decorations has been on celebrating our summer Christmas and the many things we have to be grateful for,” said Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM.
“With more and more of us staying home this year for Christmas and the summer holidays, it’s fitting that our festive decorations have a true Aussie and Wollongong theme.”
Crown Street Mall has been brought to life with a collection of colourful and contemporary art installations including:
The Summer Tree
This year we’re taking an Aussie spin on the traditional Christmas tree with a festive and vibrant tree that celebrates the Australian summer and festive season.
The use of vibrant yellow, green and blue reflects the ocean, sand and greenery around Wollongong, and the bright red colour brings a touch of a traditional Christmas. In the evenings, the Summer Tree will be illuminated bringing the sculpture to life and casting geometric shadows that create a different daytime to night-time experience.
The Summer Tree is environmentally friendly as it has been constructed from certified carbon neutral materials produced here in Australia.
The Grateful Portrait Project
Earlier this year, we asked the young people of Wollongong and the Illawarra to reflect on their experiences in 2020, and to share images representing what’s important in their lives.
The Grateful Portrait Project is on exhibition in the Crown Street Mall and showcases 32 portraits of young people living in Wollongong, along with their response to the statement ‘I am grateful for…’.
Next time you’re in the Mall, take a moment to read the stories of our resilient youth who are encouraging everyone to celebrate the good as we move into the new year.
Creative Container and Planter Barrel Wraps
The Creative Container in the Mall has received a bit of a make-over! Illawarra visual artist, Virginia Settre has created a 20metre long textile collage to cloak the shipping container in a shimmering veil of Yuletide colour.
Here in Australia, we’re sometimes at odds with the winter and snow imagery that dominates Christmas time. Settre’s artwork aims to bring together this difference through the theme of baubles. As you move around the art installation, you will see cool Nordic trees and apples give way to the bright and warm summer fruits, laden like baubles on a Christmas tree.
All of the textiles are made from upcycled materials that have been reclaimed and diverted from landfill.
“There’s so much to do in Wollongong and there are so many ways that you can enjoy the festive season while staying close to home,” Cr Bradbery said.
“It’s great to see our young people help spread festive cheer in the Mall and I encourage everyone who’s planning on celebrating Christmas locally, to consider supporting your local businesses and make the most of what your City has to offer.”
“The Mall is for people to meet on festive occasions so enjoy the ambience, a coffee, a bite to eat and meet for a catch-up in your Mall. Feast your eyes on the decorations and lose yourself in the Christmas Spirit.”