Public Art

Public Art


The term public art refers to artwork in any medium specifically created to be experienced in the public realm.  Public art is typically located in highly accessible public spaces and can include sculpture, painting, installation, multimedia, sound or performance; it may also be integrated into architectural surfaces and landscaping.  Although public art is enjoying a revival, it has a long history inclusive of many cultures, traditions, and art forms.

Benefits of Public Art

Public Art contributes to our understanding and appreciation of our cultural and natural heritage, enhancing our built environment and creating more meaningful public spaces. Among its many social, economic and cultural benefits, public art can help to define a place and create a sense of cultural and community identity; improve the public experience of buildings and spaces; and encourage creative collaborations between artists and other professionals such as architects, designers, landscape architects and engineers. 

Public Art in practice

The Fiona Stanley Hospital public art project completed in 2013, is a significant public art project developed with the collaborative involvement of a number of prominent WA artists. The project resulted in the creation of a diverse body of work now displayed throughout the hospital grounds and internal areas. This short film commissioned by the former DCA explores the development process, which demonstrates best practice in the field of public art. 

The Public Art project for River Journey for the Supreme Court, Perth, by prominent WA artist Jo Darbyshire, completed in 2016, is captured in a short video. The creative process is revealed including: research; conceptual development; collaborative aspects; installation; and views of the project outcome is featured.

The Today Tonight programme (November 2016) showcases a range of public art projects completed within the metropolitan area, with comments from the City of Vincent Mayor, John Carey. Recently completed public art projects, such as Marcus Canning’s Rainbow in Fremantle and Christian de Vietri’s Spanda at Elizabeth Quay are included, as well as earlier works. The programme also features artists speaking about specific projects.

DCA Public Art Guidelines (PDF, 3Mb)