A mural project in which notions of relative scale are called into play; the near sublime bulk of the eight silos painted as part of FORM’s 2015 PUBLIC festival, each at a height of 125 feet and with an area of roughly 5500 square feet, contrasts wildly with the regional environs of Northam, a sun baked heritage town with a population of 6, 580. Internationally renowned artists Phlegm (UK) and Hense (USA) were able to dramatically respond to the unique landscape and the agricultural heritage of the region in their transformation of the concrete structures into iconic works of art.
Art in the Wheatbelt is part of FORM’s broader PUBLIC program which celebrates the power of art and creativity to create interesting, smarter and livable environments as well as inclusive and diverse communities. The Northam project marked the beginning of FORM’s engagement in the region, with the long term aim of developing cultural tourism in the Wheatbelt through paying tribute to the striking rural landscapes, whilst simultaneously developing a strong sense of place and community identity. Whilst the artists received briefs and contextual information they were largely allowed free reign over their designs, which were primarily spontaneous in nature, informed by local imagery and the unique experiential nature of the site. FORM managed the delivery on the ground with the project team and artists working 16 days straight to complete the project. Other stakeholders involved in the project were the Northam community and CBH's grower membership who enthusiastically visited the site.
FORM, a non-profit arts and cultural organisation, established a unique partnership with CBH, which operates over 200 grain receival and storage facility sites across Western Australia’s Wheatbelt. CBH’s Northam silos were selected due to their high visibility and desirable surface. CBH had a commitment to invest in cultural programs where their members live and work, and given FORM’s experience in working in regional communities and delivering high quality programs and artwork, collaboration was an obvious fit. FORM managed the project in its entirety from fundraising to council approvals to artist selection, delivery and promotion. FORM selected two artists that had significant experience working at scale and who would undoubtedly produce a spectacular outcome that would become an icon for the region whilst also growing the international reputation of the region.
While recognised globally, the artworks, which are the largest street art murals in Western Australia to date, were similarly embraced by the Northam community with many locals following the development of the artworks online, driving passed on their weekends, and stopping to talk in person with the artists.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.