From failed 'disco dong' to $80,000 pandanus sculpture
IT'S understandable that Byron Shire Council would proceed carefully with any new public art project.
The epic failure of the Lighthouse sculpture ‒ or "disco dong" ‒ received international attention when the council was forced to tear it down and sell the shiny metal birds to members of the public in order to make up the lost money.
But the council is now pressing ahead with plans for a new sculpture.
Inspired by a pandanus fruit, Memento Aestates by Giovanni Veronesi was expected to be unveiled in the revamped Railway Park when it was opened in November last year.
However it was not there, and Mayor Simon Richardson confirmed at the time that indigenous artworks would be the focus in the park.
"We will be considering Memento Aestates for other upcoming projects where it can have the space to resonate with its surroundings and not just get 'plonked' down somewhere for the sake of it," he said.
An extraordinary meeting of the Public Art Panel will be held on Thursday, August 20.
The panel is expected to approve putting Memento Aestates at the station building forecourt site within Railway Park, Byron Bay, pending final heritage approval.
It comes after a number of alternative sites for the artwork were considered, including:
● Railway Park - station building forecourt (garden bed)
● Railway Park - grassed area
● Byron Bay foreshore between Apex Park and Clarks Beach
● Brunswick Heads - several sites.
"Following this review of site options, and taking into account the constraints, approvals and consultation required for the alternatives, it is recommended that the garden bed in front of the Countrylink Building in Railway Park be the location for Memento Aestates," the Public Art Panel report states.
"The Heritage Advisor has confirmed in writing that there are 'no heritage concerns in principle for locating proposed Public Art to Station Building forecourt'."
But if the panel decides not to endorse Railway Park as the preferred site for the artwork, "significant" consultation and further approval processes would be undertaken.