Panel: Art in Public Space

John was recently invited to speak on a panel, Composing Cities: Art in Public Space, hosted by SAMAG as part of their monthly seminar series. The sold out event discussed ways in which public art has meaning in contemporary society and the controversy involved with iconic big-budget public art. It also looked at how public art can be an extension of societal values and in many cases, start a conversation between, or within, different cultures.

The panel featured:

  • Sophie Forbat, Manager, Artistic Programs, Kaldor Public Art Projects
  • Anne Loxley, Senior Curator C3West, Museum of Contemporary Art and Member, Public Art Advisory Panel, City of Sydney.
  • Barbara Flynn: Curatorial Advisor, Barangaroo and City of Sydney
  • Sarah Carrington, Director of Projects, Futurecity
  • John O’Callaghan, Director, JOC Consulting


Here are a few snapshots from the night:

 And you can watch the full panel video here:

More information about the evening as described by SAMAG:

“Public Art is not what is used to be. As our public spaces and how we use them changes dramatically, so too does the way we engage with art in public space. In this seminar, hear from key people redefining public art in Sydney.

Join Sophie Forbat from Kaldor Public Art projects in conversation with Barbara Flynn, Curatorial Advisor, Barangaroo and City of Sydney, Sarah Carrington from Futurecity, John O’Callaghan from JOC Consulting and Anne Loxley from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the City of Sydney’s Public Art Advisory Panel.

Global cities are increasingly marked by iconic big-budget public art, whilst more mobile and ephemeral art projects are being delivered in a diversity of public spaces. With increased urban development, large areas of our key centres are undergoing tremendous transformation. How do we ensure culture and communities remains at the core of these new public spaces?

From our cities to our regions and suburbs, public art has a key role to play within our diverse communities. Can public art be a call to action? Can it effect social change? And how can public art have a lasting and meaningful engagement with our communities?”