In conversations with artists

Public art is a key component of most major developments in the Sydney CBD, in buildings and in the surrounding public domain. It plays an important role in our civic spaces as it inspires inclusivity, and humanises and enlivens our built environment.

As public art curator to local and state governments, educational institutions, development companies and architectural firms, Barbara Flynn has facilitated some of Sydney’s most prominent and remarkable public artworks. Jenny Holzer’s important work I STAY (Ngaya ngalawa) (2014) presents the writings of 80 Aboriginal writers, poets, essayists and commentators in monumental scale on a 19-metre-high column in the centre of Sydney’s financial district. Tracey Emin’s The Distance of Your Heart is a Sydney art walk; comprised of 68 handmade bronze birds placed on façades of buildings along Bridge and Grosvenor Streets and in Macquarie Place park, it introduced the possibility of working in an anti-monumental way when making sculpture for a city.

Barbara champions the artists she works with and places great importance on her relationships with them. Artists are engaged early in the projects, which facilitates a more meaningful and considered work that is ingrained within the public space it inhabits.

Joining Barbara for this panel discussion are four exceptional artists: Agatha Gothe-Snape, Nell, Thea Anamara Perkins, and Yhonnie Scarce. The discussion will focus on the contributions these artists are making to art, the importance of family and community, what it is like to work in community and public space, and how art influences the way we experience our cities.