Public Art in Marion
City of Marion believes that public space and places are enhanced significantly by artistic expression. Public art helps to create an environment that reflects pride, creates a sense of place and generates a sense of ownership of public spaces.
Public art is a way of interpreting local issues, celebrating local stories and traditions, expressing community aspirations and exploring new ideas. Art in public places can be chanced upon by accident; it is free and it enriches our everyday experience.
Call for expressions of interest
The City of Marion seeks to commission a glow in the dark temporary public artwork for the Coast to Vines Rail Trail, and a public artwork entrance statement for Glade Crescent Reserve and Wetland.
Visit the Artist Opportunities page for further information.
Current public art
Tripod and Cabin Fence artwork
Two public artworks created by well-known Australian artist Johhnie Dady feature at Charles Street and Railway Terrace, Ascot Park.
Dady’s intention of the artwork is to enhance the existing linear qualities of both sites rather than disguise them. The railway is a complex technical and mechanical marvel that is a strong statement of connectivity, and by drawing attention to the vitality of the links, the dynamic movement of departure and arrival, embeds an even stronger sense of place. The drawing elements play on and emphasise the arterial contemporary rail system.
With the Railway Terrace site, Dady’s artwork accentuates the railway complexity through the use of an elevated boxy form with mechanical tripod supports, not unlike the electrical boxes that are common on the overhead gantries above the railway lines.
The Charles Street cabin fence artwork also involves complex drawing elements. In this case the drawing is fragmented across multiple overlapping and angled panels and at a larger scale than the tripod form at Railway Terrace. This work was originally derived from an A4 piece of paper placed on its edge and folded in such a way that it would stand up. The folds in this scaled up version, like in the A4 original, are very functional and enough to give the sheet structure and rigidity, which is, to Dady’s mind, typical of the very functional structures that make up the site.
The work has been supported with funding from Arts South Australia Project Seed funding.
Jervois Street Reserve
Jervois Street Reserve in South Plympton is City of Marion's newest playground which opened in August 2016.
Jervois Street Reserve has been developed for families to enjoy. This precinct level community park (6000m2) is located between Jervois Street and Waterhouse Avenue in the south of Adelaide.
The two circular ground pavers created for Jervois Street Reserve drew inspiration from the heritage of the site and butterfly theme. Artist Violet Cooper created mosaic artwork from tiles, stones and coins.
The designs, when viewed from a distance, are relatively simple, with interest being gained through use of colour, variety, texture, pattern and images of buried treasure laid within the stones, to be viewed upon closer inspection.
The stepping stones provide the possibility for playing “made up” games, jumping from one to another and can be used for creative play.
Artist team Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa, of CHEB Art and Design, have created the four art fences inspired by a leaf, almond blossom branch and the evolution of the caterpillar into a butterfly.
Through the use of magnification, the images, while still identifiable, are abstracted to become a pattern.
The anodised and perforated fences provide a vibrant and transparent effect.The artists have used recycled fence posts, each creating a unique and individualised look.Strong use of colour makes these fences a striking feature at each corner of the reserve
Edwardstown Soldiers Memorial Recreation Ground
The Edwardstown Snake was developed in collaboration with artist Lawrence Wilkes to emphasise the overall playspace theme of Snakes and Ladders.
It is approximately 3m in length and designed as an interactive play feature allowing children to balance, jump, sit and also engage their imagination with a "friendly snake".
The surface of the work is finished in natural stone pebbles in contrasting colours to create a grid pattern representing the square on the snakes and ladders board and also the scales of the snakes skin.
Feature glass stones are used to emphasise this pattern and provide further visual interest. Brass numbers are embedded on the surface at random locations providing a visual play cue for children.
Way to Go. Tramstop 6
Visual artist Cathy Brooks and poet Mike Ladd are the creative team behind a recent public artwork installed at Tram Stop 6, on the corner of South Road and Glengyle Terrace.
Cathy Brooks is a multidisciplinary artist working across the fields of graphics, painting, photography and mixed media installation. On this project she was the designer and creator of the visual imagery that sits behind the poetry. The poetic elements were curated by poet Mike Ladd. Mike is a poet, radio producer and presenter.
Poetry for the project was produced in a community poetry writing workshop with Mike Ladd held at Glandore Community Centre. Contributing poets were: Jude Aquilina, Cathy Brooks, Indigo Eli, Alison Flett, Ian Gibbins, Simon Hanson, Kerry Harte, Mike Hopkins, Jules Leigh Koch, Mike Ladd and Cecilia White.
The artwork, titled Way to Go, consists of a mural of poetry and images and a series of poetic mock signage across the site. The work was officially launched with a poetry reading onsite in July 2015.
Hallett Cove - One Million Years. Cove Civic Centre
The Cove Civic Centre, Hallett Cove is a facility opened in 2015, providing a dynamic and distinctive hub for community activity, a state of the art library and flexible community and business enterprise spaces.
The Centre houses an audiovisual artwork focusing attention on the action of natural forces on the environment of Hallett Cove over immense time periods. The artwork consists of computer-controlled sound and video on a bank of 6 LCD screens and one projection throughout the building. These elements will evolve over time, with little or no change perceptible if viewed for a short period, but with large-scale changes noticeable when viewed repeatedly over longer time spans. Each screen and the projection will show a component of the video image displayed at that point in time, which may for example, be a transposed image of a breaking wave at 250 times slower than normal speed. On approaching the screens the viewer will enter an audio 'hot-spot' in which the sound component of the artwork will be audible, with processed natural sounds and music mixed in an ambient sound scape.
The art work has been devised by Stephen Whittington, a composer, pianist, writer and music critic working with a team of artists including a visual artist (Margit Bruenner) and programmer and technology consultant, Sebastian Tomczak.
The work has been supported with funding from Arts South Australia Public Art and Design Major Commission funding.
Mike Turtur Bikeway
The Mike Turtur Bikeway runs along the tramline through the City of Marion from South Road (at Trapstop 6) to Buttrose Terrace.
Several artworks have been installed along the pathway.
A series of two and three-dimensional 'link people' and 'interpretive badges' were created by Greg Healey and Gregg Mitchell, Groundplay. Travel the pathway and be met by action-inspired sculptural figures and poetic text reflections on the life-enhancing experience of cycling.
Further along the track, artworks have been created by Christine Cholewa and Deb Jones of CHEB Art and Design. The works consist of bold yellow and black fence panels of a discombobulated bike, spinning and falling into parts. The spinning elements turn into a weathervane for riders to know the wind direction on their ride.
Harbrow Grove Reserve
Harbrow Grove Reserve was developed as an innovative setting for stormwater collection, cleansing, storage and reuse. Recreational opportunities, and interpretive artwork are integrated into this setting, creating a landscape of innovative public open space.
Artwork incorporated into the fabric of the site was created by Gerry Wedd. Explore and discover the mosaic spheres and Pudna stones throughout the space.
Marion Historic Village
Discover community and street art including our gateway to Marion Village and the other Little Marion sculptures. The sculptures were created by Gerry McMahon and are based on local resident Margaret Western’s recollections and stories of growing up in the village.
The Little Marion sculptures have been adopted by a local family in the village who regularly place ribbons in her hair. Take a stroll around the village and see if you can find them all. They include Little Marion Welcoming, Little Marion Skipping, Little Marion Pondering, Little Marion Waiting and Little Marion Peering.
In addition to the Little Marion series, working with project artists Irene Dougan and Cheryl Dean, from Beachroad Artworks Inc, the community has created a ceramic tile 'Hopscotch' artwork for George Street Reserve, four tiled benches for Light Square and tiled plaques around the Marion Historic Village Heritage Walk.
Art on the Coast
The Marion Coastal Walking Trail in the Marion Coast Park features some exciting public and community art, which is well worth a visit.
Download the below documents for more information:
A major public artwork commissioned by Marion Council can be seen at Marino Esplanade. Titled Contemplation, it was created by artist and former Marion resident Marijana Tadic, and launched in 2006. The artwork takes the form of a 'rocked boat' and marks the northern gateway to the Marion Coast Park.
Inspired by local geology, culture and natural environment, it provides a place for people to visit, explore, reflect or sit and watch the sun go down. The design shows the 'fossilised' hull of a 10m long boat, a 7m high mast and deck. The mast features celestial patterns in reference to the way that nations navigate the globe, and represents the meeting of cultures.
A trip to the Exeloo at Marino Rocks (end of Jervois Terrace) is also worth a visit, wrapped with a stunning geometrical mosaic by Michael Tye. the work takes the theme 'Celebrating the Coast', created by triangles on a unifying grid which reflect the cycle of life and the nature of the edges; the coast being the edge between land and water. The retaining wall in front of the Exeloo features a colourful community mosaic by local residents, facilitated by Michael Tye.
Coastal Interpretive Signage
The Marino public artwork is an important element of the Marion Coast Park Interpretive Project.
Community artist, Barbary O'Brien worked with local schools, residents groups and members of the Kaurna Aboriginal community to develop the designs. Coastal and marine interpretive signage were developed as part of this project.
33 large 'art signs' in the shape of dolphins, fish, crabs and traditional Kaurna shields were produced and have been installed along the Marion Coastal Walking Trail.
The I-con sculpture
In pride of place in front of Marion Cultural Centre is an eye-catching work called From the Horizon - To the Horizon.
Designed by internationally acclaimed local sculptor Greg Johns, the work is popularly known as the I-con sculpture. It represents the 'I' in the word MARION, the letters of which are woven through structure of the post-modern building. The 8 metre high dual steel column which relates to both the Australian landscape and the immediate surrounding environment.
The Marion Cultural Centre is built on a slight hill where the old Warracowie homestead used to stand. The Warracowie Wells artwork can be found in the paved plaza area.
Artist Martin Corbin (deceased) used salvaged materials from the old homestead to acknowledge the Kaurna and European histories of the site.
The Tjilbruke Gateway
At the entrance to Warriparinga and the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre is the impressive Tjirbruki Narna arra Tjirbruki Gateway. It was created in 1995-97 by Margaret Worth, Sherry Rankine, a Kaurna artist and Gavin Malone.
It is a multi-layered artwork about the Kaurna Ancestral Being Tjirbruki, the changes brought about by colonisation, and conciliation - between people, their cultures and the land. It is presented through a collection of symbols that signify place and events.
Circles around the tree trunks symbolise the fresh water springs formed from Tjirbruki's tear drops. Flow Paths, in coloured sands, refer to the gully winds for which the area is known, as well as the flow of the river and of life. They symbolise the pathway of knowledge, the pathway of justice, the children’s pathway to cultural inheritance and the pathway of dance, a universal language.
The burn marks on some of the trunks symbolise Tjirbruki’s power with fire and responsibility in carrying out the law. The stones are from Brukunga/Barukungga and they symbolise the earthly remains of Tjirbruki’s body. The wings of the ibis on the highest tree trunk symbolise the spirit of Tjirbruki leaving the Earth.
The materials used include coloured sands from the Red Ochre Cove area, Stringybark Morthi tree trunks salvaged from plantation timber, and eucalypts, felled for Stage 1 of the Southern Expressway. The tree trunks refer, amongst other things, to the clearing of the land for agriculture and commerce.
The process for achieving the artwork was one of mutual respect and consensus between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants – a process of conciliation. Tjirbruki Narna arra The Tjirbruki Gateway was officially opened in October 1997 by the then Governor-General, Sir William Deane and Dr. Lowitja O'Donaghue in the presence of Kaurna representatives Vincent Copley, Doris Graham and Garth Agius. Ceremony and dance was presented by Georgina Williams, Nangki Burka, Kaurna, and the Tjirbruki Dancers; Karl Winda Telfer, Stevie Goldsmith, Andrew Lindsay and Nikki Ashby. New trees, propagated from the existing River Red Gums Karra, were planted at the opening in a gesture of belief for the future.
The artwork was commissioned by the City of Marion as part of the Local Councils Remember Program, a partnership between the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the Australian Local Government Association.
To visit, enter off Sturt Road onto Warriparinga Way, opposite McInerney Avenue.
Warriparinga Water Sculpture
The gleaming steel structure on the corner of Marion and Sturt Roads, Bedford Park is the Warriparinga Wetlands Water Sculpture.
It features laser-cut images of wetland insects and invertebrates, and provides a distinctive 'sign post' for Marion's Warriparinga Wetlands. Designed by Andrew Stock and John Wood, the work highlights the value and beauty of indigenous insects, and the life-generating significance of water in the Australian landscape.
Perry Barr Farm Interpretive Artwork
Perry Barr Farm on Quailo Avenue, Hallett Cove is the last remnant of the area's agricultural past. Established in the 1850's, the decline in agricultural prices and the demand for housing found the land subdivided by the 1960's. Only the homestead and a few outbuildings remain, including an old shed which is now a community hall.
Perry Barr Farm contains an Equal Access Playway (1997) created by Artist, Margaret Worth.
In 2006, a 'Mind the Gap' project was born in response to community concern about the increasing 'generation gap', and lack of connection between older and younger people. The project was developed following meetings with local residents with an interest in the historic site engaging in European and Kaurna heritage tours. Forty community members participated with lead artists to transform the site with art features interpreting the heritage of the area.
Cheryl Dean and Irene Dougan of Beach Road Artworks led participants in creating a mosaic table laden with a farmhouse dinner design celebrating local families. Gerry McMahon created metal sculptures with community members representing a Victorian woman's dress and three pig 'stools'. Aerosol artists, Stuart Burns, Sam Evans and Morris Green shared their skills with the group, helping the older people understand that aerosol is a legitimate artform. Together they created murals depicting farming and indigenous landscapes.
Flow of Life Gateway
Launched in 1994, the glass gates at the corner of Sturt Road and MCInerney Avenue, Mitchell Park were created by Terry Beaston. The gates are a combination of mosaic sculpture and stained glass. One gate focussed on the area's Aboriginal heritage, with it's design inspired by the Kaurna people's name for Sturt Creek, Waraperre River, meaning gully winds river. The other tells the story of the early European settlers and the grape vines they planted.
Other artworks in Marion
The City of Marion has various other murals and mosaic works located around the city, created for or with the community. Keep an eye out for these expressions and artistic interventions as you explore our city.
Public Art and Placemaking Officer
Phone: (08) 8375 6600