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Colouring our Habitat: Public Art on Traffic Signal Boxes

Home > Sydney > Street Art | Outdoor | Free | Environment | Art
by Missy (subscribe)
I'm a new writer based in Sydney, enjoying all the bits and pieces of everyday life.
A Makeover Like You Haven't Seen Before
Colouring Our Habitat, One Traffic Signal Box at a Time
How attractive can a traffic signal box be?

Very! We were lucky to see artist Jessica Birk in action, en plein air, working on her art this afternoon. Her canvas? The not-very-attractive grey traffic signal box that's usually a target for vandals!


Traffic Signal Box BEFORE the Makeover
Not too gorgeous looking

Traffic Signal Box Makeover Like You Haven't Seen Before
The 2nd of 3 Traffic Signal Boxes

It was a chilly windy afternoon but Jessica didn't seem to mind. Like anyone enjoying their work and in "the zone", she was oblivious to the numbing wind and noise of the traffic around her.

Berry and Walker Street, North Sydney

We stopped to have a chat and learned a few things. Jennifer Hamilton, on right of photo, from the North Sydney Council arrived and explained that the project "Colouring our Habitat" is an initiative of the North Sydney council to enliven traffic signal boxes and encourage creative collaboration between professional artists and members of the local community. It certainly makes the community feel more involved with their surroundings. Great idea!

Jessica, on left of photo and Jennifer, on right of photo.

In May 2013, Jessica worked with Year 1 students at North Sydney Demonstration School at a workshop, and they created a series of murals for 3 traffic signal boxes in the North Sydney area. Yesterday, she finished the one along Miller street which was delightfully colourful and a spot of cheer against the grey sidewalk.

Miller Street art work

Art Exhibit Open 24/7
The 1st of 3 Traffic Signal Boxes Finished

With a Fine Arts degree from UNSW, and a descendant of the Yaegl people from the Northern Rivers of NSW, Jessica will be painting all 3 traffic boxes, the 3rd one located near the train station.
Colouring Our Habitat
The red dots indicate the location of the traffic signal boxes in North Sydney CBD

Flyers to explain the project were provided if people like us stopped to chat with the artist. It shed light on the project stating that traffic signal boxes control the lights and keep them rotating from green to red. They're important elements of our urban habitat but they don't sustain life on earth. The murals are reminders of other types of habitats and lost landscapes, and encourage us to think about what sustains life on earth.

This public art will be unveiled on 4 June but will be open for appreciation 24/7 anytime you're in the neighbourhood.

What would you have painted if you were assigned one box to "makeover"? Share your thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

See website for details of the launch: Colouring Our Habitat
Venue: Ros Crichton Pavilion, Civic Park
Cost: FREE
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Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Learn more about community art projects
When: Anytime
Phone: Jennifer Hamilton: 9936 8100
Where: North Sydney
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
alright ! more of that would be nice ! like the approved art on the train line through Chippendale some art on blank spaces could certainly enliven lots of public places - I reckon go for it !
by ultim (score: 2|424) 2442 days ago
This is cool!!!
by Pauline (score: 2|112) 2441 days ago
Love this ..can't wait to see more.
by alrow (score: 0|6) 2440 days ago
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