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Ballarat Public Art Walks: Contemporary

Visit Ballarat

17 Oct 2022

Filed underSee & Do

This is one of four public art walks highlighting the City of Ballarat’s Public Art Collection.

The collection holds over 120 artworks and is one of the largest and most significant regional public art collections in Australia.

  • Moderate walk, some inclines
  • 1-1.5 hours

Eternal Flame

Peter Blizzard (1995)
Sturt Street between Lyons and Dawson streets

Eternal Flame was created by renowned Ballarat sculptor Peter Blizzard as a marker of the end of World War II in the Pacific.

Engraved into the bluestone shaped tile across the base of the statue is details about conflict areas where Australian troops were active.

The metal structure mimics a moving flame with its polished golden hue, a feature included in many war memorials around the world.

Peter Blizzard also designed the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens’ South Gardens.

Goanna Ground

Goanna Ground

Diana Nikkelson (2006)
Police Lane into the Art Gallery of Ballarat Annex

Goanna Ground, by Ballarat-based Aunty Diana Nikkelson (Gunditjmara), was inspired by the artist’s totem and is a tribute to the first artists of the region, the Wadawurrung people.

It acknowledges Aboriginal survival and the dynamic regeneration of the Aboriginal art and culture in the region.

The goanna was etched into the basalt paving at the back of the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2006 as part of the cultural festival of the Commonwealth Games.

As you walk down Police Lane, etched footsteps morph from a human footprint to goanna prints.

The goanna itself was originally an outdoor artwork, but half of it was brought into the gallery when the former Federation Plaza was enclosed to form the gallery’s McCain Annexe.

“Mirror Maze’ is the latest work installed on the Annexe Wall, handpainted by artist George Goodnow

Annexe Wall

Ongoing – commissioned annually
Alfred Deakin Place, Camp Street

While you are in Alfred Deakin Place, take a look at the Annexe Wall located just behind the central toilet block.

The City of Ballarat commissions artists to create temporary public artworks annually on this wall.

This public square is currently a destination for art lovers and students from Federation University’s Arts Academy.

Alfred Deakin Place is actively being programmed as a space for new and innovative contemporary public art.

Grand Arch

Grand Arch

Inge King (2001)
Alfred Deakin Place, Camp Street

Grand Arch is a five-metre by five-metre steel sculpture by Inge King placed as the centrepiece of Alfred Deakin Place, part of a redevelopment in conjunction with the State Government, City of Ballarat, University of Ballarat and Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Grand Arch is representative of King’s sophisticated style of abstraction that reflected animal and plant forms through to planets and the cosmos.

King was a German-born Australian sculptor who created many significant public commissions, including the well-loved Forward Surge (1974) at the Arts Centre, Melbourne.

She was at the forefront of the development of non-figurative sculpture in Australia and held more than 26 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 60 group exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, London and New York over almost 70 years as a practicing artist.

Camp Street mural

Camp Site Mural

Marley Smith and Billy Blackall (2020)
Alfred Deakin Place, Camp Street

Campsite Mural is a re-commissioned artwork based on the original mural installed in Alfred Deakin Place for the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

The mural features Bunjil (wedge-tailed eagle) the creator and spiritual leader for Aboriginal people of this land.

The Baarlijan (platypus) is a representation of the local Aboriginal community who have come from different Aboriginal nations and have made Ballarat their home.

The circular motifs represent campsites of different sizes located across Ballarat, indicating that Ballarat was and continues to be an important meeting place.

It was commissioned by the City of Ballarat.

Point to Sky

Akio Makigawa (1999)
Corner of Sturt and Camp streets

Point to Sky is one of Akio Makigawa’s final works, the commission was completed posthumously.

It is the only public artwork by the celebrated Australian-Japanese sculptor of this scale located in regional Victoria.

You will see two stainless steel forms, a smaller more rectangle form and the towering geometric form, with seed pod shapes at the peak.

These forms represent the house, with the artist expressing that home is a shelter and also a place for gathering.

The house form grows into a tower to symbolise the achievements of mankind and the action taken to protect the rights of the community during the Eureka Stockade.

The top seed pod is gold, referencing Ballarat as the centre of the gold rush in Victoria, as well as representing the sun as the source of life.

The paving of the forecourt was designed in bluestone, typical of the work of Makigawa.

Main Road mural

Main Road Mural

Travis Price (2018)
Main Road and Humffray Street South

Main Road Mural by Ballarat artist Travis Price was commissioned as part of the redevelopment of one of Ballarat’s oldest streets, Main Road.

Price depicts the pubs, traders, a fight club and Ballarat’s first Chinese restaurant that were residents of the overcrowded jumble of muddy streets in the mid-19th century now known as Main Road.

He also acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Ballarat the Wadawurrung people.

Main Road, as its name suggests, was one of the main entries to the mining areas of East Ballarat and an important part of Ballarat’s civic heart.

In the short section of Main Road between Bridge Mall and Humffray Street South, there were once more than six licenced pubs which were popular venues for large public meetings where residents came to listen to political candidates in the lead up to local elections.

Price has created a number of murals in Ballarat including Hop Queen in Hop Lane (off Armstrong Street) in the CBD.

Open Monument

Open Monument

John Zerunge Young (2015)
Len T Frazer Reserve, Main Road

Open Monument is a contemporary artwork acknowledging the history of Chinese people in Ballarat.

The Chinese diaspora was global and many Chinese people came to Ballarat and the Victorian goldfields.

The work details some of the personal Chinese family memories of Ballarat from the gold rush forward.

The 33 marble laser-etched panels include found images and texts mounted on a modernist metal architectural feature holding back a grassed hill landscape.

Within the side walkway of gravel and composite stone is an etching of local activities relating to the Chinese community achievements that can be added to by the community.

Incidents in Time

Incidents in Time

Jason Waterhouse (2011)
Time Lane, Ballarat

Incidents in Time consists of a number of small, whimsical artworks tucked in to the small nooks and crannies that are a feature of Time Lane.

This laneway was once a narrow watchmakers shopfront that ran the entire length of the lane and was packed with the accoutrements of a busy 19th century store.

The tiny works are miniature landscapes depicting moments in time, from the banal, to the sublime, to the strange.

They spill out onto the laneway and are a treasure hunt for the audience of shoppers and passers-by.

Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.