What is public art?

    Public art is artwork located in and/or clearly seen from the public realm (streets, parks, open spaces, public areas, etc.) and is created by a professional practising artist. These days, works of public art come in a variety of forms including long lasting sculptures and monuments as well as works that are temporary or short-lived (ephemeral).  See Public Art Information Sheet No. 1 for more information and local examples.

    What is a Public Art Masterplan?

    The Public Art Masterplan is a strategic document that outlines the high level vision, principles and objectives for public art within the City, as well as providing detailed direction about the ongoing delivery of public art in the City.

    For all suburbs and precincts in the City, the Masterplan will consider and identify:

    • Local stories, personalities and features of places that could be celebrated and inform public art that is meaningful and contributes to a sense of identity and community
    • Specific local opportunities and challenges that influence the kinds of public art outcomes that are achievable and appropriate in particular areas
    • Potential public art projects, which will help to inform future resource requirements

    How can I find out about the different works of public art in the City of South Perth?

    The City of South Perth has created a Public Art Map that shows the location of public artworks in the City, along with some information and images about current and past works.

    You can find out more about the City’s public art by visiting the City’s website and reading the Public Art Strategy Outcomes Report 2016-2019.

    New artworks are also featured on the City’s website, in publications and on social media.

    Why does the City of South Perth provide public art for its community?

    The City’s Cultural Plan 2019-23 is based on a growing understanding that cultural expression is an essential ingredient for community wellbeing and harmony, and reflects a strong desire within the community to enrich our lives through cultural activities. The City values public art as a means of celebrating the identity and history of the community, enhancing the environment and contributing to a sense of place, reinforcing our vision as a ‘City of active places and beautiful spaces’. 

    What policies and strategies are in place for public art in the City of South Perth?

    The City of South Perth is currently guided by its Public Art Strategy 2016-19, as well as two policies relating to public art: 

    Once finalised and adopted by Council, the new Public Art Masterplan will supersede the Public Art Strategy 2016-19. 

    See Public Art Fact Sheet No. 2 – Public Art in the City of South Perth, for more information about the ongoing development of the City’s approach to public art.

    How is public art in the City of South Perth resourced?

    The City has two policies relating to public art, which are both ‘percent for art’ policies. These ensure that a certain percentage of the construction costs of larger public and private developments is allocated to delivering public art in association with the development.

    P101: Public Art commits public (City) funds to public art, while P316: Developer Contributions to Public Art and Public Art Spaces requires that developers commit private funds for public art. The majority of enduring public art in the City is commissioned according to these policies.

    The City has also established a Public Art Fund, where funds for public art may be paid by developers when they choose to pay cash instead of commissioning public art, as required by P316.  The City also sometimes allocates funds to this account to enable the delivery of more ambitious public art projects. Funds from the Public Art Fund are only used for approved public art projects, on the recommendation of the Public Art Advisory Group and with approval from Council.

    From time to time, public art initiated by the community may be funded in various ways by community members or local businesses. Some projects may also be resourced through partnerships between the City and community or businesses.

    The City also allocates resources from its operational budget to maintain the City’s collection of public art, and to support programs and projects that commission temporary and ephemeral public art.

    What is ‘percent for art’?

    ‘Percent for art’ is a well-established funding system for public art that is widely used by government organisations internationally. It typically involves a policy commitment to allocate a percentage (often around 1%) of the total budget of government construction projects to commission artists to create artworks for the site. In the last few decades, percent for art has been adopted by local governments, and has begun to be applied to private development as a well as public projects.

    What is the Public Art Advisory Group?

    The Public Art Advisory Group (PAAG) was established to bring together members with relevant expertise in public art and arts and culture more generally, and to provide independent advice and recommendations to assist the City in making informed decision on public art. The PAAG has a membership of six, comprising four experts from within the Arts industry, recruited through an expressions of interest process, and two Elected Members of the City who are nominated by Council.

    How is public art selected for commissioning in the City of South Perth?

    All public art that is commissioned by the City of South Perth is selected and commissioned in accordance with the applicable procurement policies as required under the Local Government Act 1995.  Usually this involves a competitive process in which multiple artists submit expressions of interest and/or concept proposals in response to a brief, and these are evaluated against selection criteria by a panel.

    Temporary and ephemeral artworks are selected by a panel of relevant City Officers and sometimes external stakeholders where commissions involve partnership or other forms of collaboration. 

    In addition to the above, enduring artworks that become a City asset, must be reviewed by the City’s Public Art Advisory Group (PAAG) and recommended for acquisition into the City’s Public Art Collection.

    All developer public art commissions required under P316 are selected by the private developer, but must be submitted for review by the City’s Public Art Advisory Group (PAAG).  The City decides on whether to approve the submitted proposal on the basis of recommendations and advice provided by the PAAG.

    Where public art outcomes involve or include Aboriginal artists, stories or imagery, these proposals must be reviewed and approved by the City’s Aboriginal Reference Group in addition to other approvals.

    Proposals for community initiated public art commissions must be submitted in advance to the City’s Arts Officer who will initiate internal review and advise on appropriate approval processes and requirements, depending on the nature of the proposal.

    Who can get involved in creating public art in the City of South Perth?

    Artists who meet the City’s eligibility criteria for professional practising artists, as set out in the Public Art Toolkit or detailed in briefs, can work with developers or apply for advertised opportunities to create and install public art within the City of South Perth.

    From time to time, public art commissions are specifically intended to provide opportunity for the community to work with artists and to participate in their development and creation to varying degrees. These opportunities are typically promoted via the City’s website, social media and other relevant channels.

    The City encourages community groups, local businesses and property owners who are interested in partnering with the City, or who can offer a suitable site for an artwork on private property, to contact the City on 9474 0777 or email enquiries@southperth.wa.gov.au.


    What are the next steps?

    Once the survey has closed, the feedback will be analysed and used to inform a number of workshops to be held in May. If you are interested in participating in a workshop to further develop the draft Masterplan, please indicate this when you complete the survey.

    All the feedback and data received will be collated and analysed and used to develop the draft Masterplan, which is anticipated to go to Council to be endorsed to go out for public comment in July, before going back to Council for final adoption towards the end of the year.

    How can I get involved and provide my feedback?

    You can give us your feedback a number of ways:

    • Register or sign in. Before you can participate, you will need to create a username and password for Your Say South Perth. If you have already registered, you can sign in here. Registration only takes a moment and it will make it easier for you to stay in the loop and get involved in future projects.
    • Ask us a question about the Masterplan.
    • Complete the online survey.
    • Hard copy feedback forms are available at the Civic Centre and South Perth and libraries.

    Feedback will close at 4pm, Monday 6 April 2020.

    Do I need to register before I can participate?

    Yes, in order to participate in the online activities, you must register on Your Say South Perth and create a username and password. Registration only takes a moment, and it will make participating in future projects and online engagement easier in the future.

    If you have already registered, you can sign in here.

    I’d prefer not to complete the survey online. How else can I complete the survey?

    No problem. Hard copy surveys are available from the City's Civic Centre and South Perth and Manning libraries. Simply return your completed survey to the Civic Centre or libraries by 4pm, Monday 6 April 2020.

    How can I ask questions about the project?