Call out for expressions of interest Edinburgh Gardens Plinth Program
Tuesday 04 April 2023
Steven Rhall Tanderrum (inverted plinth) 2022 Image by J. Forsyth
Yarra City Council is calling for Expressions of Interest from artists to exhibit on the Edinburgh Gardens Plinth
A large and popular park located in North Fitzroy, Edinburgh Gardens is bounded by Brunswick Street and St Georges Road to the west, Alfred Crescent to the north and east, and Freeman Street to the south. The park was created from a grant of land in March 1862 by Queen Victoria.
A large, empty plinth stands as a centrepiece of the park in the middle of a circular garden bed in the gardens. Erected in 1901, it was originally the base for a wooden statue of Queen Victoria which stood watch over the gardens for a very short while before going missing. The statue was never replaced, and the plinth has stood bare in the park for over a century.
In 2013/2014 the plinth exhibited a series of artworks by contemporary artists curated by Plinth Projects. In 2015, a pop-up artwork was mounted on the pedestal as part of Globelight’s Garden of Light for New Year’s Eve. Since 2016 Council has re-activated the plinth every 18 months with works from artists including Adam Stone, Robbie Rowlands, Kathy Holowko and Steven Rhall as part of the City of Yarra Edinburgh Gardens Plinth Program. Details of their works can be explored here.
Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now being accepted from artists for a new, site-specific artwork to be exhibited on this plinth in Edinburgh Gardens in 2024/25.
Yarra City Council was one of the first Councils in the world to declare a climate emergency, and it is a key priority for Council that it reduces its carbon emissions to slow climate changes such as extreme heat and reduced annual rainfall. Yarra’s goals include achieving net zero emissions by 2030, as well as enabling the community to take climate action. The arts have a major role to play in achieving these goals.
Creative producers have an important role to play in contributing to change around climate action. Through providing different ways to discuss the issues and presenting different solutions, creatives can extend engagement and help deliver the narrative that everyone has a role to play in creating positive environmental change.
We cultivate arts practices that present us with ecologically sustainable futures.
We are now seeking EOIs from artists that either: speak to climate change and sustainability through their art practice; or make artworks that utilise environmentally sustainable materials.
Artists must currently live, study, work or practice in Victoria.
Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:
- Responsive to the theme of climate change and environmental sustainability.
- Works of high quality and artistic merit.
- Innovative and engaging.
- Accessible to a diverse audience.
- Works that demonstrate suitability to the structure of the plinth.
- Responsive to the site and the surrounding park area.
Applicants must provide a concise written statement outlining the visual and conceptual aspects of the proposed artwork and how it will contribute to the site and theme, as well as a CV and an image or drawing.
This is an opportunity to create a unique artistic statement in a busy, inner-city park. Artists should be mindful of the key audience for Edinburgh Gardens that includes users of the community oval, residents, pedestrians, nearby business patrons, commuters and national and international visitors to the area.
Edinburgh Gardens is located in the heart of North Fitzroy and is approximately 24 hectares in size. The park has a number of facilities, including barbeques, tennis courts, a basketball court, playground, table-tennis table and sports fields.
Edinburgh Gardens is the former home of Fitzroy Football Club. Games were played from 1883 on the sportsground now known as W.T Peterson Community Oval. The grandstand surrounding the oval dates back to the late-19th century. Other historical features include a stone drinking fountain, period park light fittings, a rotunda and a war memorial.
The artwork must be created to withstand harsh outdoor weather conditions for a minimum of a two-year period. The artist will retain ownership of the work and it will be returned to the artist following the 18-month exhibition.
The commissioned artwork will be exhibited on the plinth in Edinburgh Gardens for 18 months. Exhibition dates: February 2024—October 2025.
The selected artist will receive a fee of $18,000 (+ GST). This fee is inclusive of all costs involved with the creation of the work including:
- Artist fee (and any assistant’s fee);
- Subcontractors fees if required;
- Engineering and certification;
- All materials and fixings;
- Paint and finishings;
- Fabrication costs;
- Technical costs;
- Installation costs;
- All transport and travel costs, including overseeing the artwork installation;
- Machinery costs;
- Public liability, product and transit insurance; and
- Public safety, access and use of the site should be considered when developing the artwork;
- The surfaces created, should not be in any way, hazardous to people using the site; and
- The artwork will be publicly accessible and should be designed to withstand contact by people, acts of vandalism, graffiti and ongoing external weather conditions.
Heritage Plinth Constraints
The plinth is a heritage item and cannot be altered or damaged in any way. We have installed a concrete cap on top of the plinth. The cap has been designed by an engineer so that artwork can be attached securely onto this base without needing to attach in any way to the heritage plinth itself.
- The existing plinth and surrounding gardens shall be protected from damage at all times;
- No formwork or temporary fixings shall be attached to the existing plinth; and
- The existing plinth is subject to heritage protection and approvals. City of Yarra is to approve any works prior to commencement.
- The site will be accessed by a diverse range of people and this should be taken into consideration when developing the work; and
- Artists are responsible for obtaining any relevant copyright permission for use of materials in their work.
Duty of Care
As the artwork will be located in an unsupervised public place, the artist must exercise a Duty of Care in the design of the artwork. The artist must address Public Risk considerations, such as, but not limited to:
- Ensuring that the artwork conforms to Australian Standards as appropriate;
- Ensuring there are no dangerous protrusions which might cause injury;
- Ensuring there are no entrapment issues; and
- Providing structural engineering certification during the design development phase of the project.
The material selection is not only important from a longevity and maintenance perspective but also for public safety. Please consider all these points in selecting the materials used for all aspects of the proposed work.
- Maximum weight of the artwork is 150kg; and
- Artworks must be not exceed 200 x 150cm or 150 x 200cm as per the following diagram:
Maintenance for the required display period must be considered when developing the concepts, designs and details of the artwork. Maintenance procedures will need to be prepared by the artist should the proposal be commissioned. Consideration should be given to minimising maintenance work, and as far as possible to discouraging graffiti through the selection of appropriate materials and surface treatments.
What to Submit
- Completed online EOI form;
- One PDF attachment that contains the following:
- Artistic statement describing the proposed artwork, and its relevance to the program/site (max. one A4 page);
- Images or drawings of the proposed artwork and information about the materials to be used, proposed fixings and approximate dimensions and weight, (max. one A4 page); and
- CV – including any relevant links (eg. your website) (max. two A4 pages).
When to Submit
Submissions must be received by Monday 15 May at 9am.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission within six weeks.
How to Submit
Please submit via the form here.
For further information please contact:
Karra Rees, Public Arts Officer
p: 03 9205 5404