Our Public Art
In the placement of each piece of public art throughout our city, whether it’s a memorial or a bust or a contemporary statement, it has been closely discussed, evaluated and considered. Every single piece has been placed at a specific moment in time, highlighting a particular moment, event or person.
Public art is about more than just the works themselves.
Each piece signifies a message that people wish to convey and to express what kind of world they are experiencing at a specific point in time.
Public art is important because it’s exactly that – it’s public. It’s free. It’s open to everyone. There are over 100 pieces of public art placed throughout our city and surrounds.
From the central Sturt Street Gardens, to pieces in Bridge Mall, the Botanic Gardens and around Lake Wendouree. We have a city-wide collection of art that we treat just like an open-air gallery, through curation, maintenance, repair and cleaning.
As our city grows, it is important that we continually grow our understanding of what constitutes public art. With the implementation of the Creative City Strategy we are encouraging growth in temporary and ephemeral artistic expressions, as well as growing our traditional public art pieces.
Temporary Public Art / Street Art
Street art is the production of artistic concepts created in appropriate public spaces with required permissions.
Ballarat supports street art, and we recognise that it takes many forms. We want to make sure that people know and understand the process for developing a street art work, so we’ve developed a step-by-step guide to scoping, getting permissions, producing and completing a work.
Latest Public Art Commissions
GEORGE TRELOAR MEMORIAL - Lis Johnson, 2019
Following an extensive tender process involving more than 20 applicants, Melbourne artist Lis Johnson was selected to design and create a life-size public artwork of local humanitarian George Devine Treloar. This will be the first new major artwork installed in the gardens in almost 20 years and the first artwork created by a female artist. the sculpture is due to be revealed at a ceremony in Ballarat on the 8th September 2019.
Treloar is a Ballarat-born humanitarian who became renowned for his work during the 1920s to resettle Greek refugees from Asia Minor following a significant humanitarian effort, and his contribution to helping improve the lives of people in the Greek community of Australia and abroad.
Treloar is the son of the owners of the first pharmacy in Ballarat, with his family name still recognised at the site of the original Bridge Mall building.
For his significant work in resettling refugees Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Redeemer, the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state. The Australian Greek community, and specifically the Pontic community, also acknowledge George Devine Treloar as a heroic figure in their story of migration to Australia.
Greek migration to Australia has been one of the most important migratory flows in Australian history, making the George Devine Treloar story significant not only to Ballarat, but also to Australians more broadly.
This public art project is supported by Project Merimna Pontion Kyrion of Oceania, the Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria Pontiaki Estia and the City of Ballarat.
MURRUP LAARR - Deanne Gilson, 2019
Murrup Laar (Ancesteral Stones)
The North Garden Indigenous Sculpture Park is located on the edge of Lake Wendouree and an important space for the traditional owners of the land, the Wadawarrung people. Deanne Gilson, a Wadawarrung community member and established artist, installed the first piece of the Sculpture Park in early 2019.
Her exhibition piece – Murrup Laarr – consists of a traditionally built stone Bungaree hut in the middle of a circle of basalt stones, marked with ceramic plates reflecting the stories and symbols of the local people.
Deanne’s deep connection to the land is revealed through the stark sentinels of stone, and her work is both nurturing as well as melancholic.
The juxtaposition of the small house, whose walls carry handprints from the community, within the circle of watching basalt reveal the heartbreaking relationship Deanne has with the loss of her land, and yet she remains living on the territory stolen from her forebears.