Public Art at Belconnen Arts Centre

Public Art
At Belconnen Arts Centre

Communities (2024)
Rebekah Weddell

Digital Vinyl Wrap

This painting is a representation of the whole of the ACT and its communities from a birds-eye view, with prominent water sources featured throughout.

Across the top of the work are the Brindabella mountains, a strong and steadfast feature of the region. I look to the Brindabellas whenever I need a reminder to remain strong and true. Alongside the mountains is the Murrumbidgee River which adjoins the Cotter River and a source of Canberra’s drinking water. I often view rivers as a representation of life’s journey, sometimes life feels fast paced, other times slow and settled. It reminds me to go with the flow.

The lakes are also featured throughout the work in the form of the blue circles, as well as the Googong Dam. The regions of Canberra are represented in the sections bordered by the light-yellow lines. Tuggeranong to the South, Weston Creek and Woden to the West, Civic, Belconnen, Gungahlin all featured from a bird’s eye view of the ACT. The uniqueness of each region, communities, and families among them are represented by the different circular meeting place shapes and colours. I like to represent that we are side by side as a community, yet diverse and unique individuals.

Local plants and animals are represented in the form of eucalyptus, banksia, gum nuts, and eucalyptus flowers, as well as kangaroo tracks and magpies. I often represent wellbeing and health with the gum leaves, given their cleansing and healing properties. The sun rising is a symbol of the giver of life, vitality, and energy, which are also attributes of water. With the ACT being an inland place, the water sources here play a significant role in contributing to the wellbeing of this city and region.

While the ocean provides negative ions that contribute to a sense of wellbeing and relaxation, the water sources here are also places where locals will go to relax by the many lakes in the suburbs, connect to Country and nature out at the Cotter, cool off at Kambah Pool or Pine Island, and awe at the power of water at Gibraltar Falls. With the waterways, and all the stories they hold, it is apt that they feature in my representation of this place, a place of beauty that I love and now call my home.

This project is proudly supported by Icon Water

Icon Water are the ACT’s supplier of essential water and wastewater services. A part of the community for over 100 years, we play a fundamental role in the provision of essential services that contribute to the public health, prosperity, and liveability of our region.

Our vision is to be a valued community partner by helping local not-for-profit, grass-roots organisations in their mission to provide community access and participation. This is why we are so proud to be partnering with Belco Arts on a project celebrating First Nations culture throughout our community.

Original work: Communities, Acrylic on canvas 2023 Region Media Collection

Dancers on a Lakefront (2010)
Konstantin Dimopoulos

Dancers on a Lakefront 2010 by Konstantin Dimopoulos

“On my site visit I was drawn to the proximity and beauty of Lake Ginninderra and to the long corridor that runs between the street and the arts centre. For the space here I sensed that it would be exciting to take the viewer on a journey. Given the dance studio’s vicinity and given that dance in all cultures is an energetic festival of life and movement, I felt that here was an opportunity to create in colour and line, a moving homage to the people through a dance metaphor of energy and vitality.

In this instance the water, the architecture of the building and the vertical lines echoed in the fabric of the building, suggest a celebration of movement. The sculpture develops this theme and is like a ballet in which these lines of different characters have their own part, choreographed and moved gently by the wind. Like music in dance, wind is the critical element in this production, shaping and forming with its influence.

Dance unites us all. All cultures have a form of dance, as do many birds and wildlife. Leaves dance and swirl in the wind, waves dance upon the sea. On visiting the site and looking at the relationship between the arts centre, Lake Ginninderra and the natural environment, I sense that dance is a uniting factor, bringing all the elements together to form a completeness.

I have created this work in yellows; one a warm rich yellow; the other a vibrant sunny yellow. The name for Lake Ginninderra comes from Ginin-ginin-derry which means throwing out little rays of light, sparkling. Dancers on a Lakefront captures this meaning in many different ways, from the colour to sunlight dancing on the rods, to its analogy with dance which, to me, resembles light, illuminating stories, openly and powerfully expressing emotion. The work also refers to the wider environment, the wheatfields in rural ACT, the grasses and reeds around Lake Ginninderra. At night the work will change to become a beacon, a welcoming light drawing people towards the building, and that the ebb and flow of people around the work creates its own dialogue, the people moving around it becoming part of the artwork. Often when creating an artwork there are pleasant surprises. In this case the reflection of the artwork in the windows of the dance studio behind it; and on Lake Ginninderra.”

Magpie Message Stick #3 (2020)

Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello

Bullseye glass

The Magpie Message Stick #3 belongs to a series of message sticks which reference both our traditional message sticks, which serve various functions, such as tokens of safe passage, summons to ceremony or trade, and other forms of communication, as well as specific native birds which are known to be messengers bringing news, predictions, or warnings.

This work holds some of the ashes from the smoking ceremony performed by Wiradjuri Echoes at dawn, 21 August 2020 to mark the completion of Belconnen Arts Centre and the beginning of our new era.

They are made from Bullseye glass, which is kiln fused, cut into strips, re-assembled and re-fused multiple times, and then wheel carved on a diamond lathe and polished to its final satin like finish.

Powerful Owl (2010)

Bruce Armstrong

1957 – 2024

Bronze and timber

A maquette for the public artwork Owl, located at the intersection of Benjamin and Belconnen Ways, Belconnen.  Melbourne based sculptor Bruce Armstrong’s work is typically monumental and often described as shamanistic.  Owl was conceived as a guardian spirit overlooking the entrance to the Belconnen town centre. 

Follow the Belconnen Owl on Twitter @BelconnenOwl

Ark in the Ark and Beyond
Wataru Hamasaka

Ark in the Ark and Beyond by Wataru Hamasaka

Two arks have been carved out of a single piece of white granite and the addition of water creates this beautiful floating ark within an ark. The artist’s inspiration originates from the Iwafune Shrine in Osaka – a massive, boat-shaped, traditional Shinto rock shrine.

River Lizard (2013)
Paul Haslam and Richard Lamond

River Lizard 2013 By Paul Haslam and Richard Lamond

“I have always been a maker, full time for the last 20 years. I have training and experience with a wide variety of tools and processes, and my art incorporates a wide array of mediums. My expression draws on interests across graphic concepts, form and function, surface and texture, and an intrigue with transience. In my art I like to lead the audience’s thoughts with minimal content. While exploring Ginninderra Creek we were impressed by a lizard on the opposite bank. We have used the lizard’s form to express some of the personalities of the river as it interacts with the landscape” – Richard Lamond

Kindly donated to Belconnen Arts Centre by Rena McCawley.