Three men stand next to the public art sculpture Waterlines in Montegue, Fishermans Bend
Located in Kirrip Park, Waterlines is a large glass-fibre reinforced concrete sculpture created by renowned Australian artist Ian Strange and funded and donated to our City by Wonderment Walk Victoria.

The recent Property Council of Australia Innovation & Excellence Awards for Best Public Art, sponsored by Rider Levett Bucknall, have underscored the significant impact of public art on community well-being. This recognition resonates particularly within Fishermans Bend, where George Rose’s mural stands as a finalist for the award. These artworks extend beyond aesthetics, becoming cultural landmarks that enrich urban spaces and elevate residents’ quality of life.

At the core of Fishermans Bend’s development lies the Public Space Strategy, which emphasizes the crucial role of public art in shaping the area’s identity. Public art fosters unity among diverse communities and provides dynamic responses to history. It’s an inclusive medium that bridges backgrounds, allowing all residents to engage with these creative narratives and fostering a sense of shared heritage.

A prime example of this is George Rose’s mural shown above, which stands as a captivating representation of Fishermans Bend’s history. The mural is a vivid depiction of a topographical map showcasing the region as it existed before the Yarra River’s redirection in 1857. The intricate artwork uses colorful lines to illustrate the natural systems of the land, while also paying homage to the rich cultural history of the people who once called this place home.

Another captivating example of public art in the area is “Waterlines,” a significant sculpture located in Kirrip Park. Crafted by acclaimed Australian artist Ian Strange, this striking piece, valued at $300,000, mirrors the architectural features of a local roof peak, evoking the industrial and residential heritage of the Montague precinct. “Waterlines” engages viewers by exploring the intricate history of flooding and water management that has influenced Fishermans Bend’s development, sparking conversations about rising water levels and their implications for the community.

These are just two examples of how public art can contribute to the interpretation of specific sites and the historical significance of a precinct. A robust policy framework, coupled with curatorial expertise and meticulous craftsmanship, paves the way for artworks that seamlessly integrate into the urban fabric. These creations become permanent landmarks that resonate deeply with the community, contributing to our collective sense of place.

If you’re a fan of street art, Melbourne is a treasure trove. Famed for its kaleidoscopic laneways, the city boasts street art not only on bustling streets but also in hidden corners. Urban art has been an emblem of Melbourne’s character since American artist Keith Haring illuminated the city’s walls with murals in 1984. Since then, street art has flourished, painting a diverse, eclectic, and fiercely creative identity for Melbourne.

In Fishermans Bend, public art plays a vital role in defining the area’s character and enhancing residents’ quality of life. Through collaboration and a clear policy framework, our community continues to shape a vibrant and welcoming urban environment.