‘T’ Turning Diverse Memories into Public Art: Community Consultation in the Public Art Process

By Salvatore M. Di Mauro.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Niel MacGregor Director of the British Museum (2005) states: for individuals as for communities, it may be said that memory is identity. At the very least it is an essential part of it. All societies have therefore devised systems and structures, objects and rituals to help them remember those things that are needful if the community is to be strong - the individuals and the moments that have shaped the past, the beliefs and the habits which should determine the future. These monuments and aides-memoires point not only to what we were, but to what we want to be. The challenge to represent a local culture through archival research and demographic studies continues to provide impetus for my research. Ultimately my aim is to identify a most suitable process where a community through their experience of place can contribute their knowledge and inspire the artist to produce a public statement which reflects and informs the culture of place, past present and future.

This paper through a collection of case studies based on my own art practice and that of other artists, discusses and illustrates the significance of community consultation in the creation of public art. It looks at a collection of artworks which reference history, resources, ethnic and multicultural diversity, and ultimately communicate the marriage of oral histories translated through both image and text.

Keywords: Public Art, Community Consultation, Community Ownership, Translations, Oral Histories, Aides-memoires, Narratives of Place, The Culture of Place, Cultural Diversity

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.275-282. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.331MB).

Salvatore M. Di Mauro

Senior Lecturer, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Salvatore Di Mauro is a Senior Lecturer in Design at Griffith University. Since the1980s’ his art and design practice has been informed by the relationship between vernacular culture, object and environment. His recent commissions have included public artwork for Innisfail, Mission Beach, Childers and Brisbane. A major commission, the Childers Backpacker Memorial was completed in 2002. Salvatore is currently investigating issues around the culture of remembering and memorialising.

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