Broadway Shopping Centre, Sydney, Mirvac Retail & Perron Group, Public Art Installation

Interview by Emma Saunders

Art Pharmacy Consulting, in collaboration with Mirvac Retail and Perron Group, have put together a 'Public Art' initiative for Broadway Sydney. Five artists are involved with the project: a graphic artist, furniture designer, textile artist, industrial designer and artist and illustrator. Their artworks will be permanently displayed at Broadway Sydney, bringing the latest in contemporary art to the public.

I sat down with two of the artists, Kate Banazi and Vincent Buret, to discuss their artwork and art practice.

Kate Banazi is a Sydney-based graphic designer, specialising in screen printing. Her work is bold and lively with a great sense of energy and '60s-style experimentation. Taking geometric shapes and patterns and applying them to perspex, Kate's work is layered and complex.

Each panel that makes up her 4 metre high ‘Public Art’ piece was individually screen-printed by hand. Kate worked with a team of three assistants, a process which was natural, fluid and, as she says, ‘surprisingly rhythmic. It felt quite synchronised with everyone working together.’

One aspect that surprised her about completing such a large project was the collaborative nature of it and how willing people were to assist her throughout the nine month project. As Kate said, ‘I've been surprised with how helpful people have been. I just ask them, 'can you help me? I haven't done this before' and they help me!’

The physical size and scale of the project was out of her comfort zone. ‘Doing something this scale made me realise how much bigger it was than anything I'd done before,’ she said.

Vincent Buret, meanwhile, is a Sydney-based designer who predominantly works in the realm of furniture design. His work is sleek and minimalist, with a repeated use of copper and experiments with light.

Vincent's piece for Broadway Sydney combines elements of his previous work. ‘I applied what I do as a furniture designer to this arts project,’ he said. ‘I used what I know for designing for one person and I've applied it to designing for the public.’

Vincent frequently uses strong geometric shapes and forms within his work and the triangles within this piece were inspired by another piece he had been working on previously.

The copper and Tasmanian oak used within his panel were combined for their being, respectively, reflective and non-reflective. ‘I hope the two will play with the lights in the space,’ he said.

Working frequently across lighting and furniture design, as well as sculptural pieces, participating in the Broadway Sydney ‘Public Art’ project has been good for his art practice, he commented. It encouraged him to experiment and mix different elements of his furniture into a cohesive piece. As he said, ‘I’ve tried to mix all of my furniture into one.’

That, perhaps, is the beauty of a project like this. It simultaneously brings the latest in contemporary art to a broad public audience, while also enabling the artists to develop and consolidate their practice, experimenting and solidifying ideas, forms, and techniques.

See it for yourself, head to Broadway Sydney from the 18th August!