New urban art project set to stop traffic

Faith and Shane from Up&UP with Merewether High student Liana Corbett and Charlestown local John Fletcher

Lake Macquarie’s famous black swans have been immortalised on a traffic signal box as part of an urban art project brightening the City’s streets.

The box, on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Memorial Place, Belmont, was one of 12 across Lake Mac to receive a makeover from individually commissioned artists.

Natural history illustrator and local artist Rachel Klyve said her artwork, depicting swans cruising the lake, reflected the area’s local wildlife.

“One woman asked me what swans had to do with the area and was surprised to learn there is often a flock of fifty or more on the lake just a couple of kilometres away,” Ms Klyve said.

“While I was painting the swans, I had so many people stop to have a chat and tell me how happy they were to see a bit of colour added to the area.

“People respond to public art on many levels. It not only brightens up the streets, but helps them connect to the place they work and live, so it’s great that Council has initiated this project.”

Lake Macquarie artist Cassie Galliott’s piece in Toronto features gumnut blossoms, eucalyptus leaves and other elements inspired by local native flora.

“I’ve painted traffic signal boxes before in Melbourne and the feedback from the community is always excellent. It really brightens up people’s daily walk or commute,” Ms Galliott said.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the traffic signal box project was just one project adding vibrancy to streetscapes across Lake Macquarie.

“I’m a big supporter of public art and it’s wonderful to see a splash of colour brightening up streets right across our City. Council has been working with our community and a number of artists on a range of projects just like this one,” Cr Fraser said.

“The colourful boxes enrich our community and environment. I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for these artworks in their travels.”

The painted traffic signal boxes can be viewed at the following locations:

·        Pacific Highway and Charlestown Road, Charlestown

·        Pearson Street and Ridley Street, Charlestown

·        Pearson Street and Smart Street, Charlestown

·        Frederick Street and Ferris Street, Charlestown

·        Lake Street and South Street, Windale

·        Memorial Place and Pacific Highway, Belmont

·        Main Road and Harrison Street, Cardiff

·        Croudace Bay Road and Regal Way, Valentine

·        The Esplanade and Fairfax Street, Warners Bay

·        Victory Parade and Cary Street, Toronto

·        Boulevarde and Cary Street, Toronto