The State Government has published this Expression of Interest for Public Art overnight confirming that $69,300 of ESL will be spent on public art for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence (BCoE).

As stated ad nauseam, the association is SUPPORTIVE of government funded art, but remains steadfastly opposed to art being funded from the Emergency Service Levy (ESL) simply because the “mums and dads” who pay the ESL are explicitly told that every cent of ESL is spent on frontline services – as it should be.

Sponsor's message

Regardless of that longer term issue, the amount of ESL that will be spent on this artwork has now been declared to be $63,000 plus GST and we strongly encourage artistic members of Bush Fire Brigades to download the government’s document and submit an Expression of Interest – you gotta be in it to win it!

Anyhow, here are a few snippets from the EOI published last night:


Fire has been harnessed by people across the millennia to create heat, light, and energy. It evokes powerful imagery, patterns, words, colours, stories, cultural and spiritual traditions.

Changes in climate, shifts in land custodianship and use and the very nature of contemporary bushfires, are generating new thinking.

Sponsor's message

This includes valuing and learning from contemporary bushfire management strategies and traditional Indigenous fire management practices. Evaluation and knowledge of diverse regional topographies, plant species and their associations and impacts on fire management is also vital.

The Bushfire Centre of Excellence is at the epicentre of this contemporary thinking and strategy.

The most significant opportunities for artworks are exterior to the building, in the angled metal screening (in Corten Steel) adjacent to the rammed earth walls on both the West and East sides of the building. These are distinctive and prominent. There is also the possibility of a stand-alone artwork exterior to the building, on a triangular envelope between the car park and the entrance.

Other options are the interior walls, glazed partitions ( translucent film or glass frit) which could be resonances of the imagery of the screening; a wall feature suspended or appended to the rammed earth wall in the central foyer. There is also some scope to connect the artwork/s to landscape elements via resonances of the primary artwork/s such as seating, paving or other landscape features including the outdoor auditorium, study shelters, screening elements and fire pit.

The Bushfire Centre of Excellence is a vital State-wide resource. This commission is open to all artists. (Indigenous artists submitting may wish in particular to, but are not limited to exploring links to Indigenous fire management techniques.)

The artist/ artist team will be selected on their ability to develop and implement designs for artwork(s) in a range of media and approaches. The Selection Panel reserves the right to proceed only with those concepts which receive their approval.

Artists should note that there are particular challenges in designing artworks for a public environment. Careful consideration of safety issues is required. Sharp edges need to be avoided and materials need to be robust, with graffiti resistant surfaces or similar treatments to vulnerable surfaces. The client has stressed the importance of artworks that are low maintenance and sustainable.

The total commission budget for this artwork commission is $63,000 (GST exc). (This fee is inclusive of all transport, travel/ disbursements and installation costs).

Expressions of Interest Close–Thurs 12 March, 2020 (NO LATER THAN 2.30 PM)

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