Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion date: 2017
Elyssa Sykes-Smith Artist
Art Pharmacy Consulting
The Green Square Letter Hoarding project consisted of public arts and craft workshops held at East Village Shopping Centre, Green Square, Sydney over the duration of three days, aimed to enable children to collaborate in the creation of designs on the large-scale timber letters. The Letters were later installed in the public domain, Mirvac and UrbanGrowth NSW’s hoarding at Green Square Town Centre. The project was curated by Art Pharmacy Consulting, and commissioned by Landcom and MIRVAC.
The goals for this project were twofold and were centred around community engagement and visual activation in an urban area undergoing redevelopment, in the construction phase.
Firstly, the aim was to connect with the local community and provide an opportunity for children to engage in creative activities during the school holidays.
Secondly, the decorated Letters were later installed in the public domain, applied on top of the hoarding to activate and enliven the aesthetic of the street-scape.
I was put forward as the preferred artist by Art Pharmacy Consulting, and was then commissioned by Mirvac to design a public workshop strategy and to draw the artistic underlying artistic design on the Letters prior to the workshops.
The workshops ran over the duration of three days at the East Village Shopping Centre, Green Square, aimed to enable children to collaborate in the creation of designs on the large-scale timber letters using a variety of materials including: posca pens, fabric and buttons.and were a great success and focal point for community engagement.
The Letters were installed on Mirvac and UrbanGrowth NSW’s hoarding at Green Square Town Centre.
INTERVIEW Why are kids so great to work as an artist? I think the biggest reason why kids are so fun to work with is that they’re not controlled by what is wrong, and what is right, and they’ll join together dots that we would sometimes stop ourselves doing as adults. So, they can come up with amazing, creative combinations and ideas that just flow so naturally. And you can see that just with the artworks they made today. They approach it completely differently than I would and it’s really refreshing. Do you try and incorporate this approach into your practice? I think the more you’re around something, the more it rubs off. So that approach means I’m learning from it and it's an exchange. I think people often get too trapped into thinking we’re teaching kids things - but really, we facilitate experiences for children and then we learn from them. Any breakthrough creative moments when working with children? Sometimes. Sometimes we’re just having a little chat about something and I’ll suggest they draw something - like a flower. And they’ll be like , “What?! Flowers? That’s so yesterday”. Or they make the flower into something else that we were talking about, like a dragon, and they go on a creative journey.