DCC to pay $65k for Octagon art

Lisa Wilkie. Photo: ODT files
Lisa Wilkie. Photo: ODT files
The Dunedin City Council is calling for artists to come forward with submissions for a new piece of art in the Octagon. 

The call for submissions is the first step in a public art programme which it hopes over the next 10 to 15 years will establish a collection of public artworks that reflect five themes that were drawn from public consultation in 2017.

The themes are Whakapapa, Light and Sound, Pushing Boundaries, Encounters, and Embedded in Nature.

The successful artist will be paid a fee of $65,000 plus GST.

Dunedin Public Libraries relationship adviser council initiatives Lisa Wilkie said the last public artwork was Julia Morison’s Oubouros, commissioned in 2013 for 150th anniversary of the Botanic Garden.

"Done well, public art can help redefine places and spaces within a city, how they are experienced and how people interact with them. It helps support the development of community."

In the development of their concept, artists will be asked to draw on at least one of the five creative themes and to consider the site's cultural and historical narratives. 

They are welcome to consider the use of non-traditional materials, such as light or projections, and are asked to think about the work’s suitability for easy relocation if the Octagon is upgraded in the future.

Julia Morison's Ouroboros (worm) at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Photo: ODT files
Julia Morison's Ouroboros (worm) at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Photo: ODT files
Artists will have until 5pm, December 1 to submit their applications.

On December 20 a shortlist of up to three artists will be selected by a panel comprising representatives from mana whenua, the arts community and DCC staff. The shortlisted artists will be offered an opportunity to develop a more detailed creative vision.

The public will have an opportunity to give feedback from the shortlisted concepts before a final selection is made by the panel. 

• More information, including how to make a submission, can be found at dunedin.govt.nz/creative-opportunities.



Maybe a fountain with coloured lights and jets of water at differing heights which keep in time with some music ... but then again, maybe the DCC want to keep Dunedin ahead of NZ's other major cities by being the only one without a fountain.

Maybe a statue of Mel Gibson showing his best side to the Council, just as he did in Braveheart ... but no, probably a piece of bent up scrap from Everets and a coat of purple paint may be the best.

An extremely nice offer from the new mayor and councillors to pay for this enhancement tothe city out of their own pockets though .... ;-)

They have no trouble spending our rates? Maybe this will be more 'useful' than the parklets? The DCC is an entity that has no shame. How about doing something to reduce our rates? That would be a novel idea.

Let's hope it has teeth and no pau.

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