Community Engagement and Local Council - Maitland Council, Arts About Town, Creative Streets Project.

As a winner of Maitland City Council's - Arts About Town (Creative Streets) project I selected a site in a Rutherford shopping precinct from multiple priority sites because of what I believed to be a project that could have considerable positive community impact and from a design perspective and was also a great opportunity to connect and work with some diverse stakeholders such as community, council and trades people that would be employed or assist.

The chosen site was an existing public walkway. The area was greatly in need of rejuvenation and damage to retail property and graffiti was prevalent, the area also had an underlying unsafe and partly neglected feel, especially after sundown.


My approach focused on the below objectives:-

 

•    To create a safer, interesting and more welcoming environment in the evening and throughout the day for locals and visitors to pass through or spend time.

•    Offer a talking point and promote discussion around the arts as well as promote local council.

•    Promote a feeling of empathy, understanding, mutual recognition and respect for local wildlife (inspired by the local eastern grey headed flying foxes).

•    Encourage people to reflect on the importance of family, community and positive mental health.

After introductions and discussions with local youth, shop owners and staff and local council

The Flying Foxes in their new environment

Project Development

Real life critters who inspired the project

The selected site before the project

Testing of potential lighting techniques and concepts

Carving and crafting the project

Images of the scale model that assisted in winning the grant

Further building and installing