Bayshore Drive Public Art

Background

Council adopted a Public Art Strategy in August 2018 which was developed to drive the vision for public art in the Byron Shire. Byron Shire has long been recognised as a home for artists and Council is aiming to ensure this not only continues but that the area grows to be regarded as the arts and cultural capital of northern New South Wales.

The Strategy creates a platform for larger, more substantial permanent artworks that will have longevity.  It takes a cohesive approach and recommends commissioning some pieces for our community that are diverse, contemporary and distinctive.  

The Public Art Panel’s aim is to make art more accessible to our community (keeping in mind that everyone’s tastes are different) so we should cater for this.  By its very nature public art is always going to be controversial. 

Public art has the power to express our values, enhance our environment, transform a space or even the way we see the world.  It’s for everyone, and through the Public Art Strategy, the Public Art Panel aims to ensure we reflect the wide variety of people and artists in the Byron Shire.

The Bayshore Drive Roundabout Public Art Project

 

The Bayshore Drive Roundabout Public Art Project aims to create an entry statement into Byron Bay. The location lends itself to a high profile artwork to provide a distinct and unique feature welcoming people to Byron Bay.

An innovative piece was sought, incorporating elements of light considering the thriving night-time economy in Byron Bay. This art project will form part of a suite of elements making up Byron Bay’s town entry.

Ewingsdale Rd is the northern entrance to Byron Bay from the Pacific Motorway where most traffic enters Byron Bay including workers travelling to work in Byron Bay who live in surrounding towns, and 90% of Byron Shire’s two million annual visitors.

The Bayshore Drive roundabout is at a major intersection of Ewingsdale Rd and Bayshore Drive.  Bayshore Drive is the main entrance to the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate, and access to Sunrise Beach residential area. 

Do not climb on the sculpture as it may damage the artwork.

The artwork is located in an area not easily accessible to pedestrians and was developed to prevent climbing.

There is a point on the side of the road on the north-western corner of the roundabout (where a plaque is to be placed) where the lighthouse sculpture and the Cape Byron Lighthouse can be viewed in the same frame.

The Bayshore Drive Roundabout Public Art Project is funded from Section 94A developer contributions and cost $55,000. The Developer Contributions Plan can be found here.

The S94A public art funding can only be used for public art and cannot be used for other purposes such as roadworks, buildings, parks, etc.

Click here for more details

 

The sculpture is a 12m high, 30mm aluminium frame bolted together. The birds in flight are laser-cut, hand-beaten aluminium with an Aris edge to minimise sharp edges and riveted onto the frame.

The artwork is attached to a base of 300mm deep N25 steel reinforced concrete with bolts embedded. The structure uses locknuts with an anti-tamper cover.

The structure has an engineering certificate guaranteeing it as a safe and robust public artwork.

The aluminium will fade/ dim over time through exposure to weather. The work is illuminated at night.

 

The scale of the work does not inhibit the visibility and sightlines of traffic and meets Roads and Maritime Service requirements (any structure to be within the 4m centre of the roundabout).

 

 

 

The Lighthouse, silhouetted by a flock of migrating birds, is an optical illusion, a beacon for transitory migration, both a journey and a destination.

The work intends to provide itself as symbol, a marker initiating a welcome rather than warning, an echo of the talismanic emblem of Byron.

Comprising six thousand stylised laser-cut, hand beaten outlines of birds in flight, that are interconnected via a myriad of hidden supporting rods, the form and outline of the lighthouse emerges. A beam of light emanates, it comprises of birds creating the inverted illusion in light, perspective and form.

The positioning in the roundabout, provides a unique opportunity for artistic interphase, this large-scale work provides an opportunity to engage in a still moment or travelling at speed. The form is utilised to evoke the scale and symbology of the lighthouse. The work offers a new interactive way to engage with a space, a community and a perspective.

The work traces a journey, the comings and goings of the piece, its swoops and soars inhabit a dream like state, something hidden within that is not always revealed.

The hope is that the Lighthouse Project provides both the tangible and intangible, as a beacon and repository of memory, an injection of whimsy, poeticism and playfulness into the everyday.