Public Art Policy + Plan for Port Macquarie/Hastings
CREATIVEMOVE has been engaged in developing an overarching public art policy and plan for the Greater Port Macquarie/Hastings area in central New South Wales. The Port Macquarie/Hastings area has significant cultural heritage vested in the Birpai Aboriginal peoples, the traditional custodians of this area. It has beautiful natural assets in its coast, national parks and other environments, and is a place impacted by the early colonisation of Australia.
CREATIVEMOVE’s philosophy is predicated on public art, not just as objects in public spaces, but forming a mindset and ecosystem that builds sustainable capacity in understanding and appreciation. In this way, the art informs and engages the audience (both local and tourists), and narrates the region’s stories – past, present and future. At the beginning of the journey in this place are Birpai and Dunghutti narratives which have longevity and agency. Since colonisation, many more people, events and incidents have been enmeshed with the PM-H region. These layers of history are dynamic and continuing. Capturing the essence of this multiplicity of narratives using public art makes manifest what it is that makes this place unique. They draw on the significance of the past to conduct new and positive narratives into contemporary experiences and the future.
The objectives of the plan include creating, for PM-H, one of Australia’s best regional public art collections and promoting the Art Walk (a popular existing significant art event that takes place in Port Macquarie). It will enhance the PM-H tourist ‘brand’ with quality public art that contributes to this region’s recognition as a cultural leader. The plan elevates the profile of Indigenous recognition, defines the areas narratives, values and distinctive environmental assets, develops the skills of local artists in the public art realm and creates opportunities for professional extension and employment. It also encourages partnerships to extend existing resources towards a significant public art collection. The plan will be rolled out over the years 2019-2023.