Parklets with local art popping up soon

Published on 04 June 2021

Local artists will have their works displayed on public streets throughout the year, as part a partnership between the State Government and Council.

The program was initiated by the State Government, providing funding to Councils to address congestion in towns, particularly hotspots near restaurants or takeaway food shops – parklets create places to meet and eat food while providing more space for social distancing.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister, said that a pop-up park, installed between the Memo and the Community link under a State Government program, had been well-received by the community, and that she was looking forward to more parklets being established.

“I’ve had community members tell me how much they’ve loved having a nice spot to sit in the middle of Healesville,” she said.

“We’re now looking forward to the parklets being introduced – they’ll give people a spot to meet, sit and eat with friends, particularly on busy weekends when seating is at a premium.

“We’ve already installed parklets in Upwey and Kallista and have more coming for Healesville, Olinda, Sassafras, Mount Dandenong, Mount Evelyn, Montrose and Seville.

“I’d encourage everyone to make the most of these spaces for a socially-distant catch up or coffee when we can gather in person again.”

Art by Graham Patterson, depicting the blackfish on a yellow background.

Art by Graham Patterson.

Earlier this year, Council opened applications for local artists to contribute concepts for the graphic treatment on the face of each Bounce Back Parklet.

Twenty six artists applied through this process, with 12 commissioned to have their art featured on the backs of the parklets. The remainder of the artists had images purchased that will be featured inside the parklets or on signage.

Cr McAllister said the artwork on the parklets told stories about the wider region – from the present-day landscape of the valley and hills to Aboriginal histories of the area.

“We’ve had some brilliant submissions from talented local artists and we’re excited to share their work with the community on our new parklets,” she said.

“I’m particularly proud that we can display the work of Aboriginal artists, including Graham Patterson, Amanda Wright and Nikki Browne, whose pieces depict the Australian blackfish, a yellow-tailed black cockatoo and a Songline - and their significance to the region.

Art by Amanda Wright depicting songlines - broken and reforming.

Art by Amanda Wright.

“This art and the recent timing of Reconciliation Week is a good reminder that Aboriginal people are at the centre of our history and our future, in every town of our municipality.

“Whether you’re in the hills, the valley or our urban areas, Aboriginal people are a key part of our community and our history, our present and our future.

“Once piece tells the story of one of the many animals that call this area home, while another is a poignant reminder of the cultures lost, reclaimed and revitalised.

“These artworks have been made by talented local artists and our parklets will look spectacular when they’re finished.

“I hope that all of our community find something to love in all of our new parklets and their artwork once they’re installed in coming weeks.”

In addition to the installation of parklets, most temporary outdoor dining permits issued to businesses in Yarra Ranges have been extended to 31 December, 2021.

All fees for street trading permits have also been waived until the end of the year.

Art by Tracey Roberts depicting musical instruments among the trees of the region.

Art by Tracey Roberts.



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