Blue Mountains News

New artwork selected for Blackheath village

By Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 14 Jan 2024 - Posted: 14 Nov 2023
Joel Mitchell is creating a new public artwork as part of the Blackheath Village Centre upgrade project.
Blue Mountains sculptor Joel Mitchell has been selected to create a new public artwork as part of the Blackheath Village Centre upgrade project.

The new sculpture will be positioned near the Blackheath Rotary Clock and Neate Park, in front of the Rail Building.

The sculpture, titledReveal: A Celebration of Blue Mountains Orchids, will be made of stainless and corten steel, with lighting elements hidden within a series of concave orchid forms. The sculpture will be activated at night with a gentle night-time glow and sit on a raised concrete plinth.

Blue Mountains Mayor, Mark Greenhill said: “This is another exciting addition to Blackheath as part of the Village Centre upgrades, which are now underway. It’s a celebration of the natural environment that’s such a vital part of the local community.”

Joel is deeply inspired by natural forms as a vehicle to explore themes of hope, inheritance, restoration and renewal, and created the abstract design to celebrate the Blue Mountains as one of the most ecologically and botanically diverse regions on Australia’s east coast.

The Blue Mountains contains over 130 species of orchid, including the recently re-discovered orchid, Corunastylis reflexa, by Upper Mountains local eight-year-old Arabella Hanisch Jasiak (unseen for 145 years).

This project will be made onsite at a local high school, as part of an artist-in-residence program, engaging sculpture students and the wider school community in the fabrication process.

The artwork was selected by a project panel and independent members of the City Art Committee, which includes members from the Blackheath community, after an Expression of Interest call out to Blue Mountains artists.

Artworks were assessed against a criteria that included sensitivity to the aesthetic qualities of Blackheath Village, contextual responsiveness to Ngurra (Country) and the potential to portray local and town stories.

Artist Joel Mitchell says, “I am captivated by the Blue Mountain’s beauty– it’s adventure, wildness and diverse flora and fauna, offering endless inspiration.  It was formed by growing up here, spending countless hours, hiking, climbing, canyoning, guiding and volunteering with wildlife and community groups.

“Sculpturally up-scaling natural forms allows people to see and interact with the natural world in a new way, building awareness and deeper connection.”

The artwork will accompany other landscape upgrades and town centre improvements including new dry-stone walls with integrated seating, wheelchair accessible picnic seating, feature lighting, pavement and planting renewal.

For further details about the Blackheath village upgrades, visit here

 
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