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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Forum for public art

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Having secured funding, Creative Mullumbimby are looking at innovative and community-integrated public-art Ideas for the town. Malcolm Price is the president of Creative Mullumbimby. He spoke with The Echo about Creative Mullum and their vision for the town.

Who are Creative Mullumbimby?

Creative Mullumbimby are the people who bought you the Big Picture Show in 2014. This was a community-engagement exercise to envisage how we want to see our town in the future. It also wants Mullumbimby to be a town supportive of the arts and creative industries. Creative Mullum are now in process with the Mullumbimby Sculpture Walk. The first installation of this is Enter Here, which can be viewed on the Scout Hall corner behind the Post Office.

What is their vision for the town?

The vision for Mullumbimby is a work in progress – as it always will be. We all know that Mullum is unique and different, and the main focus of CM is to keep it that way. It is probably impossible to define or provide a recipe of the ingredients of what makes Mullum special but one ingredient is the embrace of the arts, creativity, quirkiness, tolerance and exuberance.

Why do we need public art? What impacts does it have?

Deep question. We need public art to mark entrances and exits, to create milestones or places we know where we are. We need public art to tell stories so we know who we are. We need public art to inspire us, to startle us, to make us laugh and cry. Public art is also art in the commons, so it needs to bring people together by making places and ideas understandable. Good public art creates a type of conversation with its surroundings, whether it is children climbing on it, trees overhanging it, or adults arguing about it. Bad public art is easily ignored because of its irrelevance.

What is the evolving public art in Mullumbimby?

The efforts of the Creative Mullum team were rewarded last year with an Arts NSW grant of $64,000. This grant will be put towards a number of interesting projects in 2017. There will be a call out to artists for four new installations on the sculpture walk – please look at the CreativeMullum.org website for more info. We will be a running a series of public-art seminars and forums. This will be to engage the community with the public-art process, allow feedback, input and transparency in the selection process.

How can people get involved?

For a start it would be great if Mullumbimby residents took some time to reflect and contemplate on what makes the town work and what could make it better. In any way – artistically, aesthetically, infrastructurally – anything. Then we all have a chance to engage in and contribute to the upcoming Mullumbimby Masterplan process that is about to get underway. The existing Creative Mullumbimby committee are a joyous group of philosopher kings and enlightened, transcendent beings who are open to more membership. Please go to creativemullum.org for more info.

What projects are coming up?

The Public-Art Forum and then the Public-Art Participation Seminar are scheduled for Saturday and Monday respectively. This will be at the Byron Community College in Gordon Street, Mullum. Go to creativemullum.org for more information.

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