OPINION: Designs sought for CBD sculpture

By Rob Carr

For a long time musicians have been calling for more money to be spent supporting Wollongong’s live music scene. Council funding is usually channelled through youth services for Youth Week and weekly new bands nights, and the occasional bit of money will go out through cultural services to musicians performing at Viva la Gong.

Council was recently given an extra $5 million from the Federal Government to revitalise the CBD. $500,000 will be spent on just one piece of art to go in the CBD.

While musicians may feel we’ve missed out on an opportunity to divert funds into venues, gigs and the like, Council’s long term vision of the city includes other opportunities for musos.

This includes being part of the big revamp about to be undertaken in the new arts precinct, specifically plans to turn Civic Plaza into a hub of arts and nightlife activity.

So how do musicians want to use this space? Some live music venues down that way, or an outdoors pavilion for gigs perhaps? What if the Town Hall opened onto Civic Plaza, and more regular gigs could be held there?

Another question for the short term is how musicians think $500,000 could be spent on city centre art.

There has been a callout for artists to submit a tender, so why not a sculpture that reflects Wollongong’s rich musical heritage, or at least a work that recognises the live music scene alongside the city’s visual or performing art scenes?

Perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek, but there has been some light-hearted discussion on the grapevine about a bronze “Beezy”, standing firm with bass in one hand and guitar pick in the other, looking out across the city as it grows and morphs into a vibrant cultural space.

I suppose, why not a monument to such a seasoned musician? My money is that there aren’t many Wollongong musicians who have played in more bands, and who have performed and composed in a diverse range of styles with such tenacity and precision (and volume!).

Who knows what can be produced if local musicians put their heads together, but I’d love to see a sculpture dedicated, at least in part, to Wollongong’s diverse music scene. The tender process is open until July 10. To submit an expression of interest go to the link http://www.tenderlink.com/wollongong


One Response to OPINION: Designs sought for CBD sculpture

  1. Thomas G. Tobey BA MA FGAA DipEd says:

    I am a sculptor who has lived and worked in Wollongong for 38 years. Recently I submitted an
    expression of interest” to WCC via Tenderlink, to design and build a sculpture for the mall.
    I included photos of my ideas for such a sculpture. There were to be 4 sculptors chosen on July 10 who would be paid to submit tenders. It is now 1st August, and no announce has been forthcoming as to who the 4 chosen sculptors are nor have I been notified that I was not shortlisted.
    I hope that the final sculpture will be by a local sculptor, and will be as impressive as I believe my designs to be. Tom Tobey BA MA FGAA DipEd ph. 0412173965, phone calls or emails welcome. tomtobey2003@yahoo.com.au

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