Fifteen existing Ausnet electricity transformer boxes along Smith and Victoria Streets in Warragul will be transformed into a canvas to display works of art created by local artists.
Through the Warragul CBD Streetscape Project there was an opportunity to beautify the traditionally plain but necessary transformer boxes by showcasing creative and vibrant works of art by local artists.
A local signwriting company was commissioned to create and install vinyl wraps featuring high-resolution prints of selected artworks on each electricity transformer box. Council’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee recommended using images of works held in the Council collection for the first ‘Wrapped in Art’ exhibition.
The largest box located near the arcade on Smith Street, has been transformed into a steel plinth providing a platform for local artists to showcase their sculptures. The first artist to have their work displayed is well known Jindivick-based sculptor Laurie Collins.
In the future, other local artists will have the opportunity to have their artworks and sculptures featured for display. A changeover will take place approximately twice a year. Expressions of interest will open for local artists around April/May 2020, this process will be managed by Council’s Arts and Culture team.
The project aligns with Council’s objective to build a vibrant community through arts and culture. Furthermore, Council’s Public Art Policy highlights a commitment to integrating public art in the design of major infrastructure projects.
There are many benefits to public art benefits, including:
- Community wellbeing and cohesion by creating a sense of ownership and belonging to place.
- Storytelling and developing a sense of regional character and uniqueness.
- Iconic imagery, cultural tourism and development of arts business.
- Enhanced open spaces and public gathering spaces.
- Encouraging social interactions.
- Supporting local artists and providing opportunities for development of arts-based business.
- Simulation, inspiration, conversation and celebration. Public art encourages an inclusive community and creates discussion while it addresses issues.
This project is being delivered with permission from Ausnet.
As noted by Mayor Cr Mikaela Power
“This is a fantastic opportunity to turn beige transformer boxes into vibrant works of art that celebrate our community’s talent and creativity. It’s great to see local artists involved from the start, working with Council staff and Ausnet. We look forward to seeing works from other artists featured in the future.”
As noted by Arts & Culture Advisory Committee Representative Cr Jessica O’Donnell
“We’re so pleased that local artist Laurie Collins was able to work with us to help set up the project. Laurie has been a tireless contributor and promoter of our region and its creativity. We also thank our Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee for their guidance and support for this unique collaboration between arts and infrastructure delivery.”