Albany Ring Road Bridges Provide Artwork Opportunity for Aboriginal Artists

Menang Noongar artists will have the chance to contribute artwork to the walls of the new bridges being built as part of the Albany Bypass.

The $175 million ring road project, overseen by Main Roads WA and built by Decmil, includes the construction of three bridges.

A bridge crossing the Albany Highway and Menang Drive interchange was opened to traffic in April this year.

Two more bridges are planned at South Coast Highway and Hanrahan Road, which are expected to be completed and ready for art work in 2023-24.

Main Roads spokesperson Dean Roberts said there were six locations where artwork could be installed.

“Each bridge has two full-scale abutment walls that will provide a canvas for public artwork and provide a meaningful opportunity to visually express local culture and stories,” Roberts said.

Artworks can be individual pieces or linked by an overall theme.

Members of the Noongar community are invited to attend a spinning session organized by the project’s sponsor, the non-profit arts organization FORM, on July 30.

Mr Roberts said several artists are likely to collaborate on the project.

“The spinning sessions will provide the local Menang community with an opportunity to come together to discuss public artworks and share stories that are culturally significant to them, which will then inform our artwork consultant’s art brief. art and the content of the expression of interest that will be sent to the artists afterwards,” said Mr. Roberts.

“Local artists and creatives who might be interested in expressing interest are also invited to attend to listen and be inspired by the conversation.

“Ideally artists will have a meaningful connection to the region and the Noongar community, but expressions of interest will be open to anyone to apply.”

He said FORM’s Land.Mark.Art program would help “anyone who may not have worked at this scale before, or has a fantastic idea but is unable to undertake an installation.”

Land.Mark.Art is a professional development program that helps Indigenous visual artists develop their skills for large-scale public works of art.

Following the wire sessions, a Public Art Advisory Group will select the shortlisted artists and concepts in September.

The advisory group, which will be chaired by the City of Albany, will include two alumni from the Albany Heritage Reference Group, as well as representatives from Main Roads and Decmil.

The installation of the works is scheduled for early 2023.

Both spinning sessions will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 30 at 365 Serpentine Road, Mt Melville.