Visual Arts Panel

The Visual Arts Panel (VAP) provides advice on Council’s Art and Heritage Collection and public art.

Yarra City Council inherited a range of indoor and outdoor artworks and cultural artifacts when the Cities of Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy amalgamated in 1994. Council recognises the inherent importance of local cultural heritage and accepts responsibility as custodian for all collection items documenting the City’s unique history and people. Since this time the Collection has continued to grow through acquisitions and donations, particularly the Contemporary Fine Art collection. Council will acquire, collect, preserve, research, document, exhibit, interpret and make accessible to the public the original artworks, objects and information which forms the Yarra City Council Art & Heritage Collection.

The City of Yarra Collection Management Policy guides all decisions related to Council’s management of the Collection and role as cultural custodian of this Collection.

Public art is a growing and changing form of contemporary art that presents a range of opportunities and challenges for Council. Public art may be commissioned and produced by various means including by Council, community groups, artists and private developers. Council’s first Public Art Policy 2015-20 and Guidelines for Public Art in Private Development in Yarra were adopted on Tuesday 3 March 2015.

Council is advised on cultural matters by the Yarra Arts Advisory Committee (YAARTS). The Visual Arts Panel (VAP) is a working group of YAARTS. The Panel provides a formal mechanism for Council to seek specialist advice as required on matters related to the management of the Collection and public art.

Visual Arts Panel Membership

Yarra Councillors Sophie Wade (Mayor) and Gabrielle de Vietri are members of the committee.

Members for the 2021-2023 term are:

Faraday Boydell

Faraday’s experience includes project management, curatorial work and arts collections management. She is the Art Collection Manager for a private collection and works with Agency Projects, an Indigenous cultural organisation based at Collingwood Yards. Faraday works in Yarra.

Ry Haskings

Dr Ry Haskings is a practising artist, an educator, and an arts manager with collections management experience. Ry has an impressive record of exhibitions, publications, presentations at forums and has won many honours and prizes. Ry has run artist run spaces, including TCB Gallery and Conners Conners at Fitzroy Town Hall. Ry works in Yarra.

Sam McGuiness

Sam is the Creative Director, Visual Design at R/GA Melbourne. R/GA is a global award winning digital agency that designs businesses and brands for a more human future. Sam works with companies like Toyota, Google, and Slack. Sam lives in Yarra.

Glenn Manson

Glenn is the Gallery Manager Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, dedicated to representing Aboriginal artists. Glenn has work in both commercial and public galleries specialising in contemporary and indigenous art. He has curated exhibitions locally, interstate and internationally. Glenn lives and works in Yarra.

Carolyn Lewens 

Carolyn Lewens is an artist and curator working solo and collaboratively to produce complex ensembles of image, sound and text. She investigates the properties and metaphors of light, and the mysteries of shadows, often producing experimental works. Her cameraless photographs are a mix of the literal and the phenomenal, problematising the digital through the uncanny of the analogue.

Probing cultural and scientific explanations of nature and more recently, the universe; playing with creative ambiguities of the photogram process, mobile sculptures and installation, her works broadly canvass ideas at work in culture and science, with a focus on ecologies of light, water and life. Her images are cyanotypes – blueprints, “plans for future reference.” As such they deal with issues of art and science - climate change, pollution, over-fishing, questioning what it means to be alive, and speculating on what might exist down in the oceanic depths or out in deep space. More recent forays into cosmic realms with her current fellowship at Swinburne University’s Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, has brought questions of the scientific interpretation of light and darkness, movement and shadows to the fore.