Suggestion of art for Wollongong mall sparks civic imagination

An artist's impression of how an abandoned shopping trolley sculpture might look in the mall.
An artist's impression of how an abandoned shopping trolley sculpture might look in the mall.

Glow-in-the-dark spiders, an abandoned shopping trolley and painted surfboards were just some of the sculptures Mercury website readers think could add an artistic touch to Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall.

Wollongong City Council plans to establish art work in the newly refurbished space, with a steering committee requesting a piece that would ‘‘reflect Wollongong’s dynamic character’’ and balance creativity and innovation with a sense of place.

Artist could add bite to 'dull' mall

Sydney-based art director Barbara Flynn – the woman who helped select Sydney’s controversial ‘‘cloud arch’’ and milk crate sculptures – has been engaged as the city’s ‘‘public art curator’’.

At least $500,000 has been allocated to the public art budget for council’s refurbishment project, and the curator  reportedly wants more.

On Tuesday, Mercury website readers suggested what  would look good in the mall.

‘‘Bruce of Coledale’’ thought a ‘‘gigantic abandoned shopping trolley, one wheel broken – as an iconic image of our age?’’ would work well.

‘‘Spiders ... hundreds of them ... Hanging off the side of buildings and climbing walls and scattered around the mall ... As dark as the idea seems, it would be a fantastic attraction for tourism ... and at night it would look awesome!’’ 

Another suggested glowing spiders would look even better, others didn’t want giant tarantulas in their city.

‘‘Vogez’’ wants  ‘‘a large wave sculpture down the mall, some big surfboards standing against a timber fence’’  while  Sam Tyler was adamant urban sculpture needed to engage with people and suggested a giant chess board or stone table tennis tables.

‘‘In short, things that Bring. People. IN. Things that bring them into the mall to play, to buy, to mingle, to relax, to drown out the junkies with their numbers.’’