Creative hoardings - transforming construction sites

Construction sites in Sydney are these days wrapped in colourful art, as city officials enliven the streets with their creative hoardings programme.

The programme was created a couple of years ago to transform the visual impact of construction sites. It also provides opportunities for artists to showcase their work on a large scale in very visible locations.

Birds of Australia by Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso of illustration and design studio, Eggpicnic. The studio produces fine art prints and toys to raise funds and awareness about wildlife conservation. This work was chosen by the City of Sydney for its creative hoardings project.

Birds of Australia by Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso of illustration and design studio, Eggpicnic. The studio produces fine art prints and toys to raise funds and awareness about wildlife conservation. This work was chosen by the City of Sydney for its creative hoardings project.

Developers with construction sites in high traffic areas must cover their hoardings in art by a living Australian artist, or historical images relevant to the area where the hoarding is located.

Stone Jewels, by Fiona Currey, Darwin. This series of hand drawn sketches illuminate various stone cutting tools found across NSW, showing the beauty, complexity and craftsmanship of these objects and exploring Aboriginal construction techniques in a contemporary construction setting.

Stone Jewels, by Fiona Currey, Darwin. This series of hand drawn sketches illuminate various stone cutting tools found across NSW, showing the beauty, complexity and craftsmanship of these objects and exploring Aboriginal construction techniques in a contemporary construction setting.

Developers can commission their own artist, or they can use artworks licensed by the City of Sydney, free of charge.

The council says the idea for the hoardings programme was in response to community demand for more street art. It provides “evolving, temporary urban canvases and outdoor galleries.

Obstacle Course by Elliot Bryce Foulkes. The work references an individual’s experience when navigating the city. Each element in the work represents Sydney, from existing infrastructure to ongoing development.

Obstacle Course by Elliot Bryce Foulkes. The work references an individual’s experience when navigating the city. Each element in the work represents Sydney, from existing infrastructure to ongoing development.

“Featuring intriguing art on protective structures shows the community you care about developing pleasing and interesting city streets,” the council says. “It fosters much more positive brand association than advertising, and demonstrates your company is progressive.”

Real Myth , by Captain Pipe, Sydney. This illustration explores how people shape their unique vision for what they wish to build and how seemingly bizarre these processes can sometimes be.

Real Myth, by Captain Pipe, Sydney. This illustration explores how people shape their unique vision for what they wish to build and how seemingly bizarre these processes can sometimes be.

Developers can create or commission their own site-specific artwork, although it’ll need to be approved by the council. Temporary structures surrounding heritage-listed sites or in areas of heritage significance are required to display historic images of the locality.  

The council has also selected and licensed artworks from Australian designers and artists that can be used free of charge.

Double-Take by Rachel Harris. Look, and then look again. Should that selfie stick be in that historical snap? Rachel Harris has altered images from the City of Sydney’s archives to create a playful juxtaposition between the now and then. “I like to make work that questions our perceptions and makes us look closer at our environs,” she says.

Double-Take by Rachel Harris. Look, and then look again. Should that selfie stick be in that historical snap? Rachel Harris has altered images from the City of Sydney’s archives to create a playful juxtaposition between the now and then. “I like to make work that questions our perceptions and makes us look closer at our environs,” she says.