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Art in public places

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, activates and 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.

Dig and Delve

An oversized spade stands in the ground, momentarily balancing. This artwork aptly named Dig and Delve, is by artist team Laura Wills and Will Chessman. Created in 2018, this artwork is located in the Hendrie Street Reserve Inclusive Play Space, Park Holme. The artwork represents local agriculture, river life and village settlement. The blade becomes a canvas for images both tactile and visual (why not bring some paper and crayons and take rubbings of the little creatures), small gongs as keys for playing tunes, and atop the worn wooden handle sprouts a tree twisting up to the sky with birds perching.

Find and Leap

Find and Leap mural at Morphettville Park Sports and Community Club is a contemporary artwork focussed on cricket and football that incorporates history and imagery around these sports played by women, men and children. Hidden amongst the foliage and throughout the mural are little creatures and other things to explore and find. Can you see the Ringtail Possums?
Creators of the work are artists Rosina Possingham and Laura Wills, 2018

Locally Indigenous

The Coast to Vines Rail Trail between Hallett Cove Railway Station and Capella Drive, Hallett Cove hosts a glow-in-the-dark path with native flora and fauna. The design created by artist Aurelia Carbone, 2018 include muntries (native cranberries), blue tongue lizards, squid (Southern Calamari) and the trail logo. This work can be seen during the day, but beams at the darkest hours.

Wirltu (Southern Cross Constellation)

Local artist Aurelia Carbone, has created a distinct glow-in-the-dark artwork embedded in the amphitheatre at Grand Central Avenue, Hallett Cove, in 2017 as part of the Hallett Cove Foreshore Redevelopment. Entitled “Wirltu, the artwork refers to Kaurna name for the claw of the celestial eagle who, at death, carries your spirit through the Milky Way, also known as the Southern Cross Constellation. Within the artwork, the stars constructed with glow-in-the-dark aggregate, were embedded onto different surfaces to create the illusion known as anamorphosis (a distorted projection that resolves itself when viewed from a particular point or through a camera). The artwork is visible both day and at night.

Tukutharnanta Tarnanta Pangka Yarlu

The Glade Crescent Wetland entrance statement created by artists Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa, CHEB art in 2017 is located at the public footpath leading from the Coast to Vines Rail Trail down to the first stage of the wetland within the reserve wetland development. Local rock excavated from the site has been salvaged and used by the artists for this project. The Kaurna title of the artwork "Tukutharnanta Tarnanta Pangka Yarlu" are the Kaurna words for a puddle, a pond, a lake, an ocean.

Marion City Band Mural

Marion City Band mural located on the corner of Dumbarton Avenue and Towers Terrace, Edwardstown was created by Jake Holmes. The mural was funded by the City of Marion Community Grants program.

Ascot Park Railway Station mural

Mural created by James Hopgood and Matt Dopheide, was commissioned by Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, 2018.

Marion Railway Station artwork

Created by artist Paul Herzich, this artwork is located at Marion Railway Station, Farne Terrace. Commissioned by Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

Standing work No.5’ and ‘A Proposition for a vertical surface’

Two public artworks created by well-known Australian artist Johhnie Dady feature at Charles Street and Railway Terrace, Ascot Park, 2017.

Dady intends the artwork to enhance the existing linear qualities of both sites rather than disguise them. He says, "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."

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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.


Jervois Street Reserve

Public art pavers

The pavers in Jervois Street Reserve, were created by Violet Cooper in 2016. Jervois Street Reserve in South Plympton is a popular family friendly reserve.

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Artist Violet Cooper created mosaic artwork from tiles, stones and coins. She drew inspiration from the heritage of the site and butterfly theme.
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.

Public art fences

The entry fences also located at Jervois Street Reserve, South Plympton was created by artist team Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa, of CHEB Art, 2016. The artists drew inspiration for the four art fences from a leaf, almond blossom branch and the evolution of the caterpillar into a butterfly.

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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

The Edwardstown Snake

The Edwardstown Snake, Edwardstown Oval Soldiers Memorial Ground was developed in collaboration with artist Lawrence Wilkes to emphasise the overall play space theme of Snakes and Ladders.

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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 snake’s 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

Visual artist Cathy Brooks and poet Mike Ladd are the creative team behind a public artwork installed at Tram Stop 6, on the corner of South Road and Glengyle Terrace, Glandore

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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

“Hallett Cove - One Million Years” at the Cove Civic Centre, Hallett Cove is an audio-visual artwork focusing attention on the action of natural forces on the environment of Hallett Cove over immense time periods.


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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 artwork 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.

Link People and Interpretive Badges

Several artworks have been installed along the Mike Turtur Bikeway, which runs along the tramline through the City of Marion from South Road (at Tramstop 6) to Buttrose Street, Glengowrie.

A series of two and three-dimensional 'Link People' and 'Interpretive Badges' were created by Greg Healey and Gregg Mitchell, Groundplay, in 2012. Travel the pathway and be met by action-inspired sculptural figures and poetic text, reflecting on the life-enhancing experience of cycling. These artworks are between Marion Road and Morphett Road.

Which Way?

Further along the Mike Turtur Bikeway, 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.

Pudna Stones and mosaic spheres

Harbrow Grove Reserve, Seacombe Gardens 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.

Little Marion sculptures

Discover community and street art including our gateway to Marion Historic 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.

Hopscotch tiles, mosaic benches and plaques

In addition to the Little Marion series, working with project artists Irene Dougan and Cheryl Dean, from Beachroad Artworks Inc, the community 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.

Contemplation

A major public artwork commissioned by City of Marion 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

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The Marion Coastal Walking Trail in the Marion Coast Park features some exciting public and community art, which is well worth a visit.

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Celebrating the Coast

The Marino Rocks (end of Jervois Terrace) exeloo is wrapped with a 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

33 large 'art signs' in the shape of dolphins, fish, crabs and traditional Kaurna shields can be found along the Marion Coastal Walking Trail.

Community artist, Barbary O'Brien worked with local schools, resident groups and members of the Kaurna Aboriginal community to develop the designs.

From the Horizon - to the Horizon

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.

Warracowie Wells

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 Tjirbruke 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.


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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 Wetland. Designed by Andrew Stock and John Wood, in 2002. 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 contains artwork created by artists and community members including:

  • an Equal Access Playway (1997) led by Artist, Margaret Worth;

  • mosaics led by artists Cheryl Dean and Irene Dougan of Beach Road Artworks; 2006/2007

  • metal sculptures led by Gerry McMahon and community members; 2006/2007

  • murals led by Stuart Burns, Sam Evans and Morris Green 2006/2007

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Perry Barr Farm,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. 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 its design inspired by the Kaurna people's name for Sturt Creek, Warripari 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

There are other examples of Art in Public Places located around the city, created for or with the community. Keep an eye out for these expressions and artistic activations as you explore our city.

City of Marion Contact:
Joyce Louey
Public Art and Placemaking Officer
Phone: (08) 8375 6600
Email: council@marion.sa.gov.au