Creative solutions, NSW road network
Roads and Maritime recognises the highly visible role that roads and bridges play in the built environment. Roads and Maritime strives to create projects that not only effectively fulfil their transport role but also contribute to the liveability of cities and regions. The work of artists helps to create distinctive and meaningful places and Roads and Maritime has engaged their services on many projects around the state.
Generally artistic input is integrated into the design of a project and its elements. For example noise walls and retaining walls are occasionally designed with artistic motifs and texture, which as well as improving the appearance of the walls, helps create a landmark and also – very practically – helps deter vandalism. The City West Link walls are a good example of this approach.
Artistic input can also be provided through individual pieces of art such as paintings or sculpture. For example the red poles at the junction of the M4 and M7 motorways are part of the Light Horse Interchange place marking concept. These are coloured the red of Flanders poppies, and wires bunched at their crown symbolise the distinctive emu feathers worn by the Australian Light Horsemen in their slouch hats. Sculpture can also mark a border crossing or recognise the unique character of a town or an area.
Roads and Maritime engages with communities, local authorities and other government departments to contribute to artistic projects through funding or enabling work or simply supporting the installation of artworks on Roads and Maritime land. A good example of this has been our involvement in the tree sculptures under the Western Distributor viaducts in Ultimo – helping improve the setting for the local community and assisting council with the design and installation of the sculptures.