Good art that enriches places for people

  • News
  • Good art that enriches places for people
About this article
Fiona Doherty


Fiona Doherty


Awards , Projects
Market Insights

Sign Up for Market Trends & Insights


Congratulations to the 2023 finalists vying for the Rider Levett Bucknall Award for Best Public Art Project for their indispensable creative contributions to great new places.

Australians increasingly recognise the vital role of arts and creativity in almost every aspect of our lives, from education to mental health to strengthening local economies.

Research from the Australia Council for the Arts shows growing numbers of Australians agree arts and creativity build social cohesion and support health, education and the future economy – critical areas as our nation recovers from the impact of COVID-19.

The research shows Australia is a creative nation: nearly every Australian – 98% of us – engage with arts and culture.

An increasing majority of Australians acknowledge the positive impacts of arts and creativity on our lives and our communities (84% up from 75% in 2016).

The arts contribute a myriad of positive benefits to our society, including direct economic benefits to the tourism and education sectors, and less tangible, yet significant benefits for our mental health and wellbeing.

This award acknowledges the crucial role that public art and creativity play as we seek to bring life back into our cities, regions, and economy and recognise the intrinsic value of the arts to all Australians.

Quay Quarter Tower: Roof for Stray Thoughts by Olafur Eliasson is a monumental yellow sculpture on the rooftop podium, while Remembering Arabanoo is five artworks embedded into the architecture of Quay Quarter Lanes by Wiradyuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones.

32 Smith Subtractive Wall Art: The GPT Group used this carved mural to celebrate the thriving culture of the Darug people, the Traditional Owners, of Parramatta. Darug woman and artist, Leanne Tobin, made the original sketches of people fishing, cooking and canoeing along the Parramatta River, and Di Emme transformed the sketches into a jack hammered bas-relief.

All Our Boys: Located at the entrance to the Highline Development in Sydney’s Westmead, the former site of St Vincent’s Boys’ Home, this artwork transforms the traditional, suburban gate with paper-like sheets of mirrored pillars that represent the boys who once lived there.

Burwood Brickworks: Frasers Property commissioned Indigenous artist Mandy Nicholson to create a striking artwork spanning 1,700 sqm across the ceiling and façade of the shopping centre, connecting the site to its traditional heritage and reminding visitors of the depth of Wurundjeri culture.

Chandelier Lane: This immersive kinetic installation by Office Feuerman in the new Eat Street in Stockland Wetherill Park reappropriates the domestic and cultural symbol of the chandelier that lights many meals shared between families and friends.

Fisherman’s Bend: George Rose’s mural depicts a topographical map of Fishermans Bend before the Yarra River’s redirection in 1857. Colourful lines represent the natural systems of the land and the rich cultural history of the people who lived there.

Greetings, Flowers, Ping Pong 1000: These three major public art components at Sydney’s Ed.Square reinforce identity and belonging. For instance, Ping Pong 1000 is a playful representation of an endless table tennis tournament.

Interchange Pavilion: Mirvac and artist Chris Fox celebrate the bustling railway workshops once at the heart of South Eveleigh. Visitors are drawn into the Pavilion by railway switch tracks; inside, timber seats rise around a stage that is perfect for planned events or a quick bite.

Resources: This eight-by-38-metre mural by Casey Coolwell-Fisher, a Quandamooka Nunukul woman of Minjerribah, represents the Albert River, and greets shoppers at their local Woolworths supermarket.

To Dance – Wakakirra: TAFE NSW commissions local Indigenous artists from each community to create, share and install their artworks at each connected learning centre around the state.

Visy Glass Murals: Uniquely designed murals of magnificent scale from celebrated street artists Kitt Bennett and Georgia Hill pays homage to the history and industrial heritage of the Melbourne suburb of Spotswood, with modern elements a nod to the future.

Wesley Public Art Project: Commissioned by Charter Hall, this $1.5 million investment brings together six leading Australian artists to achieve a thought-provoking and engaging art experience through the 1-hectare precinct.

In collaboration with RLB since 1982, the prestigious awards have promoted excellence in design and innovation in the built environment. From 157 eligible finalists, the winners were selected by a high calibre judging panel made up of 14 property specialists and chaired by Adrian Harrington.

Winners will be announced at the 2023 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards, to be held at the ICC Sydney on Wednesday 23 August 2023.