Journal article

Assembling Birrarung Wilam: a case study of Indigenous public artwork in the city

Julia Flaster, Lesley Head

AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHER | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2019

Abstract

Indigenous public artworks in Australian urban spaces have challenged assumptions of Indigenous absence from the city. This paper examines the construction of Birrarung Wilam, in central Melbourne, in the period 2005–2008. We use archival documents and semi-structured interviews to analyse the collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants in a project sponsored by the city. We show the particular mediating contribution of ‘fabricators’: a group of commissioned workers and tradespeople with material-specific expertise. Person to person encounters occurred through the modules of project management, with limited scope for long-term engagement. Despite being embedded in forma..

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