Public Arts: the academy engaging with Main Roads WA, industry and community

Dr. Lyndall Adams (ECU), Harrison See (ECU), Fiona Bell
2019 Conference

This paper examines two public art works conducted by researchers, Lyndall Adams and Harrison See from the School of Arts & Humanities at Edith Cowan University in collaboration with Main Roads WA (MRWA), CPB Contractors (CPB), the community reference groups, and school children from (St Stephen’s School, Carramar and Kinross College, Kinross). The public artworks are site specific: designed specifically for, and responsive to the particular site through scale, material, form, concept and community consultation. The materials and methods will be discussed in terms of engagement between the academy, industry, and community.

The paper will focus in part, on the research end-user’s evaluation and expectations of both projects. While the recent Australian Research Council’s, Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018–2019 National Report measures ‘units of assessment’ by effective interactions between researchers and research end-users outside of academia for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge, technologies, methods and resources, the bureaucratic foibles inherent inside the academy can add another level of administrative headache to the artist researcher’s workload. Industry partners are not free of frustrations given communities and community organisations use of social media as a democratising voice. However, as Senior Stakeholder and Community Relations Advisor at CPB Contractors, Fiona Bell knows only-to-well, Public art can express collective community values; reflecting how we see the world, enhance the built environment, transform the landscape, or question our assumptions.

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About the author

Lyndall Adams, a contemporary artist, is a senior research fellow across the School of Arts and Humanities and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Adams predominantly supervises postgraduate artist researchers with 21 completions and another 14 at various stages of candidature. She is interested in the complex role of narrative structures in positioning visual images of the body in a constant state of flux. Her areas of interest range across feminisms, dialogics, interdisciplinarity, collaboration and contemporary culture. Lyndall has participated in solo, collaborative and group exhibitions within Australia and internationally.


Harrison See, is a contemporary artist interested in symbolism and narrative that transcends cultural difference. His practice-led research explores dialogic collaborative painting across cultures. See is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University (ECU), and assistant artist and research assistant on the Joondalup Wanneroo Interchange public arts project—a collaborative research project between ECU, Main Roads WA and CPB Contractors. See is a New Colombo Plan Alumni and the recipient of a Research Training Program Scholarship.


Fiona Bell, a stakeholder engagement professional currently working in the construction industry on major State Government road infrastructure project. Outside of the construction industry, Bell has worked across numerous other industries including mining, refining, State Government and not-for-profit. Bell’s significant expertise in developing and implementing engagement programs, has enabled her to successfully play a key role in facilitating community investment, employee engagement, stakeholder relationships and brand protection.