Callout for artists to develop public art for the Bellarine’s new multimillion-dollar library (with a living habitat on the roof)

Callout for artists to develop public art for the Bellarine’s new multimillion-dollar library (with a living habitat on the roof)

Artist's impression of Drysdale Library

The City of Greater Geelong is seeking to commission a suitably qualified and experienced artist or creative team to develop a public artwork which will be considered a significant cultural asset for the new Drysdale Library in Drysdale.

One lucky artist or group of artists will get to play a part in making their mark on the Bellarine’s new and very modern library, with the city calling on an experienced artist or creative team to develop a public artwork for the site.

The two-storey library will be part of the new Drysdale Town Centre at Wyndham Street and will feature communal spaces, quiet study areas, an adult changing places facility, an internal courtyard garden, library collection, a City of Greater Geelong customer service point and resource-efficient systems, crowned by a stunning “living habitat” covering the roof of the building.

The budget for the commission is up to $80,000 + GST and the public artwork will be situated at an optimum location within the green site surrounding the building.

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A drawcard for the region, the living habitat will feature a canopy of plants covering the roof and a central courtyard, in a bid to ‘mitigate urban heat island effects and protect against increasing peak temperatures’, provide insect and bird habitat and improve site ecology through drought tolerant and adapted plantings.

“The roof level is sought to house a living habitat for a range of vegetation including built-in irrigation and stone mulch – an open space allows direct solar transfer into the reading courtyard below,” planning documents noted.

The project’s sustainable design also features a 99kw solar system, a 30,000 rainwater tank, low-flow water fixtures, natural ventilation and specifications for construction materials to be sourced from “sustainable and responsible sources with supply chain certification”.

“The ‘amphitheatre’ portion of the site is sought to be repurposed as an outdoor reading court or events spaces for occasional activities associated with the library,” documents noted. “The stepped design of this space allows it to act as a passive seating area for the wider town square.”

Plans for the library include a multi-coloured brick finish, aiming to complement the heritage surrounds of the Drysdale commercial area without replicating the colours or designs of the significant buildings.

Replacing the Drysdale Senior Citizens Centre in the centre of the township, the sustainable building has been designed to be a welcoming and safe space that’s open to all members of the community, while low-carbon strategies are set to be incorporated into the construction.

The outdoor space especially aims to foster the cultivation of connections between community members of all ages. It is envisioned for the integration of public art within this project will support this community aspiration. The Drysdale Public Art Commission aims to exemplify the vision for public art as expressed in the City of Greater Geelong’s Public Art Strategy and give consideration to the unique qualities of the site, place and culture of the region.

What artist’s need to consider before applying:

Artists are invited to consider some of the following themes as a part of preparing a response (Note: these are a guide and not to be considered mandatory criteria):

  • Culture: Connection to the cultural values and natural environment of the region. Connection between people across ages and demographics
  • The Bellarine Peninsula is strongly connected to the surrounding water, including Corio Bay and the Barwon River
  • The Bellarine Peninsula has a contemporary local community and vibrant tourism economy.
  • The Bellarine Peninsula is a place of continued cultural significance for the Wadawurrung people.
  • Engagement and Interaction: consideration to an artwork that invites or fosters exploration or imagination with people of all ages
  • Scale: Submissions may be for a singular larger work, or a series of connected smaller-scale works that encourage interactivity and invite the viewer through the space.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are encouraged to submit proposals.

Artists who are not of Wadawurrung cultural heritage will require endorsement from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners if the artist intends to reference Wadawurrung culture in their work.

Expressions of interest for artists are due 9am on July 18 2022. Find out more here

You can read more about the project here