Contour 556 represents the water level of Lake Burley Griffin, as designed by Walter and Marion Mahoney – Griffin in 1911, in their design for the new capital city of Australia.
50 local, national and international artists present works that respond to the layers of Canberra’s history. It is an outdoor public event, where artists respond through performance, walking, dance, soundscape, projection, song, poetry, textiles, wallpaper, text, light as well as ‘traditional’ sculpture, represented by works in steel, stone, glass, timber, and found materials. The artworks occupy land and water.
The event is curated by Neil Hobbs, and forms the curatorial practice component of his Phd: ‘Can Public Art Transform the Public Realm”
The project seeks to interrogate the relationships between artworks and space; between artists and the public; and the ways in which art or performance can influence how the public perceive space.
The event presents a series of ‘landscape activations’, both ephemeral, through a walk or performance, and static, through a placed object. Viewers are invited to respond with their perceptions and comments through a digital survey available through accessing QR codes around the event.
Artists and performers are responding to any and all of the human interventions to the Canberra’s landscape over the past 50,000 years, including:
• The natural qualities of the site
• The landscape qualities of the site
• Canberra’s cultural history`
• Canberra’s political history
• Canberra’s geological history
The curatorial intent of the selection of artists and their works will question:
1. the relationships between artworks and space; between artists/artworks and the public; and the ways art or performance can influence how the public perceive (and remember) space.
2. the role that art can offer play, and the inter-relationships between play, art and space: both for children and adults, and how spaces can be made more attuned to the possibilities of play – through typical urban settings and more obvious playspaces.