Public Art, Spatial Practices and the City

John Vella, Tasmanian School of Art

John Vella, 2010, HANGBANG (nightshift), Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania (CAST), Hobart. Image via

What role and form does Public Art have in the City and its future/s? In imagining the city, ideas of community and culture, and their dynamic interrelations, can be obscured within a focus on physical and built forms. Artist John Vella’s public lecture will examine the matrix of Public Art in the contemporary city, with a focus on spatial practice. Drawing upon recent shifts in conceptions of ‘place-making’ that attempt to take greater account of socio-cultural dynamics, can spatial practice be imagined more broadly – as a platform and medium for dialogue in the city? For articulating ‘the right to the city’? For reconnecting people to place via Public Art ‘place-making’ as a relational activity? For imagining futures and producing public space, whether utopian or pragmatic?

The speaker John Vella is a practicing artist and Head of Sculpture, Tasmanian School of Art. (Examples of his recent public works can be found here and here.)

The talk will be followed by a discussion with the following:

Dr Mick Douglas (Discussant) – an artist-researcher and lecturer at the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University.

Dr Ruth Fazakerley (Discussant) – a researcher at the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University.

Dr James Oliver (Chair) – an artist-researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships, VCA, University of Melbourne.

Date: 7pm, Thursday 10 May 2012
Venue: RMIT Building 50, Orr St, Carlton Map
Entry by gold coin donation. Refreshment provided.

For more detail and links to speakers see Public Art Research.