Developers of a new residential site at Blackwattle Bay engaged artist Mika Utzon-Popov and PublicArt Works to prepare a Public Art Plan for the mixed use development. Winners of the architectural competition, Chrofi and KAANFINCH joined landscape architects 360 in designing a through-site pedestrian walkway where the public art was to be focussed. Referencing historical records showing the original meanderings of Blackwattle Creek, Mika developed a strong concept which formed the backbone of the Public Art Plan.
As he described it :
“The public artwork’s overall genesis stems from the geological origins of the area surrounding Blackwattle Bay. Using as a source the original creek which flowed from nearby Erskineville and down into the Blackwattle Bay Swamp area as a foundation, the work seeks to ground the public space of the thoroughfare and connect it to the geographical history of the site and the surrounding suburb. By emphasising the linearity of the public space between the buildings, the art work creates a direct line back towards Broadway, linking future developments to the origins of the site and focussing attention into Wentworth Park as a social and physical centre of the community. By using sculptured concrete elements to emulate the sandstone base of Sydney’s waterways, the work offers an ‘opening’ to the surrounding landscape by way of original history. As a second component and to emphasise the modern aspect of our social structure, the work incorporates prefabricated sculptural seating elements which not only serves as socio cultural gathering points, but also act as physical delineations of the overall space.”
All developments over $10m in the City of Sydney are required to incorporate public art of some kind in their developments, with a final public art report required for an Occupation Certificate.