Group put its `art' into it with Westmead site visit

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Dominic Dwyer sizes up the project scale as arts program consultant Marily Cintra (front, centre) looks on.

Bold visions toward a future reality was the theme of the day for members of the Westmead Arts and Culture Advisory Committee as the group inspected future arts spaces in the under-construction Innovation Centre and new hospital building at the Westmead Redevelopment Project.

For the first time since the construction work started on the $1 billion infrastructure project, the advisory group put “boots on the ground” to see how the proposed art works will fit into the spaces previously decided upon and forming the bedrock of the project’s Arts and Culture Strategy.

The 14 projects will be installed at various locations in and around the new buildings, with the advisory group currently in the process of commissioning artists in consultation with a hand-picked peer assessment panel of art experts predominantly operating in western Sydney.

“It was a worthwhile visit and certainly gave us some context as to the scope and size of these artworks,” said Carla Edwards, who heads up the advisory group. “The next stage is working through to get the very best artists assigned to each project then working with the project partners to deliver these stunning, enduring pieces.”

A focus of the site visit was the entrance to the seven-storey Innovation Centre, new hospital building forecourt and lobby areas, with one of the projects – a 15-metre depiction of the ‘Tree of Life’ – provoking much excited discussion.

“This artwork, in the main lobby next to the Innovation Centre, will span over several storeys of the building and is over 15 metres high,” Ms Edwards said.

“It’s sure to capture the imagination and will fit into our overall vision of providing a healing environment connected to nature.”

The advisory committee and chosen artists will work with Multiplex in delivering the project, which will form part of the completion of Stage 1 of the Westmead Redevelopment Project in mid-2020.