Clarence Plains Art Project
“Here Together we are Home”
Driving down the hill, past the Pass Road/Tollard Drive traffic lights, towards Hawthorne Place, in Rokeby, on both sides of the road, you may have seen the gabion walls that have two words made from special plastic dots, called ‘Dedots’. On the left, the yellow dots say ‘WELCOME’ and the orange dots say ‘TOGETHER’. On the right side of the road, the yellow dots say ‘HOME’ and the orange dots says ‘HERE’. Driving down the hill you see WELCOME HOME and coming the other way you see HERE TOGETHER. The artwork is titled Here Together we are Home.
This project has been an initiative of ‘One Community Together’, Clarence City Council and Hobart-based design studio ‘Futago’ with funding from the ‘Tasmanian Community Fund’, Clarence City Council and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The intention of this art work was to capture the spirit of Clarence Plains, to help reduce the bad news stories that the local area often receive, to draw positive attention to the area, to increase community confidence, to create a reason for people to come and visit and hopefully decide to stay, for people to feel proud of where they live, work and play and to help the four suburbs of Rokeby, Clarendon Vale, Oakdowns and Glebe Hill feel more connected.
Futago spent six months engaging with the communities to come up with ‘words’ for the art work. To get to the heart of Clarence Plains, they visited the Rokeby Primary School fair and the Clarence Plains Harvest Festival. They also distributed posters and questionnaires and encouraged drawn and written responses. They created a Facebook and Instagram page to hear what it is that makes Clarence Plains the place that it is, why people like living here and what can be celebrated. Futago collated a list of words they heard again and again which were short listed and sent out as a survey for people in the community to vote on. It was decided that six of the most-voted words, WELCOME, HOME, HERE, TOGETHER, CREATE and BRIGHT, would be used in the project.
Alaskan graphic-artist, Karen Larsen, was invited to be a part of the project, due to her experience with large scale graphic art work. The alphabet font was custom designed by Karen who flew to Tasmania last November to help install the dots on the welded steel wire mesh, which formed the gabion walls. Karen held a workshop at the Clarence Council Youth Centre where young people attending the Youth Services program were a part of installing some of the dots for the HOME, HERE section of the art work. Karen worked alongside Clarence Plains community members in installing the dots for the WELCOME, TOGETHER section at the Grace Centre. Karen also gave a talk about her large scale graphic art work in Alaska, which residents of Clarence Plains attended at no cost.
Clarence Plains community members were invited to a morning tea for the launch of the art work Here Together we are Home at the Clarence Council Youth Centre on Wednesday 4th December 2019.
Keep a watch out for the words CREATE and BRIGHT which will be installed on mesh panels somewhere in Clarence Plains sometime in the future…after the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are reduced, and we can bring people together to assist in putting on the dots.