Five Australian Public Art projects make the Top 100 list of the international CODAawards

Mount Pleasant Woolworths Lacefence. Photo by Dan Macbride.

FIVE AUSTRALIAN artworks have made the Top 100 list of the international CODAawards and are eligible for the People’s Choice awards with online voting ending June 30.

The awards recognise outstanding commissioned artworks which are integrated into site-specific projects across interiors, architecture, landscape architecture and ephemeral installations.

This year 446 entries from 30 countries were entered into one of 10 categories which comprise the awards – Commercial, Education, Healthcare, Hospitality, Institutional, Landscape, Liturgical, Public Spaces, Residential and Transportation.

The Australian artworks to make the Top 100 are Mount Pleasant Woolworths Lacefence and Cascade both located in Perth, Western Australia, After the Flood (Series) in Townsville, Queensland, Emily Floyd’s Jackalope sculpture at Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula southeast of Melbourne, Victoria and Coexistence, a temporary light projection devised for Vivid Sydney and located in Chatswood, NSW.

CODAworx Founder and CEO Toni Sikes established the awards in 2013 and noted the numerous Australian submissions over the years and the “many great Australian artists who do commissioned work.

“A great example is Mount Pleasant Woolworths Lacefence in Perth by Paula Hart. Hart collaborated with an architectural metal company to create lace out of metal that transformed the interior and exterior space,” she said.

“Another example is Cascade,” which illustrates a great collaboration between UAP and the artist Catherine Woo. They fabricated an exterior wall of recycled cast aluminium for the newly developed Ritz-Carlton hotel in Perth; the shimmering material replicates the movement of water – and it is glorious.”

Jacarand blooms are a feature of the Mount Pleasant Woolworths Lacefence. Image: Supplied

Mount Pleasant Woolworths Lacefence

Perth artist Paula Hart’s striking Lacefence artwork references the flamboyant purple jacaranda blooms that are in abundance in the local area. Her aim was to give the observer a sense of the detail you would see and feel if you were sitting within the tree canopy.

Located on a corner site of Canning Highway, a main arterial road that connects Perth and Fremantle, the innovative stitched stainless-steel wire and powder coated panels span two facades with a bird in full flight amongst the blooms on each side.

Mason Harrison, Associate at Hames Sharley Perth, said that from the outset the design team made a conscious decision to create a placeholder for an integrated artwork within the façade to give the building a strong presence and identity and to soften its form in contrast to nearby commercial buildings in the residential area.

Senior Architect, Jonathan Jones said their client, Woolworths, and the design team were immediately impressed with Hart’s submission.

“Her ambitions were not just for the project itself but for the greater good of humanity in the sense that the artwork that she proposed was fuelling a village in India which does the weaving of the metal,” Jones said.

“It was very apparent from the outset that the scheme she was proposing with the material and the way they use the material was just a standout. It was something completely unique and we anticipated it was going to be a great solution. To us it felt like an integrated solution that elevated the design of the building,” Harrison added.

Hart collaborated with Dutch industrial designer Joep Verhoeven and Redfort Architectural Fabrics to elevate what is essentially wire mesh fencing into a stunning 240sqm artwork.

“Having previous experience working shoulder to shoulder in the Amsterdam studio it was a really exciting process,” Hart said of the design development phase.

“They have a series of stitches and you can custom make your own stitches. In effect they are lace stitches that are just how you would put together a textiles piece,” she said.

Detail design of Mount Pleasant Woolworths Lacefence by artist Paula Hart.
Cascade features on the facade of The Ritz-Carlton in Perth, WA. Image: Supplied


Cascade, conceptualised by artist Catherine Woo, features on the façade of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Perth designed by Cottee Parker’s Melbourne studio. Initially slated as a green wall, the architects later realised that it was an ideal location for an integrated artwork.

Samuel Mayze, Director of Strategic Projects at UAP (Urban Art Projects) said that the project was under construction when the builders, Probuild, engaged UAP to undertake a feasibility study on the viability of the delivering Woo’s concept as a built artwork.

“UAP were engaged by Probuild to design, fabricate and install the artwork. This included working very closely with Catherine to support her art practice in a new material and scale,” Mayze said.

“Catherine is a photographer and we worked hard to build trust with her and to give her confidence that we could help translate the work and maintain her creative vision. Our role was also to be the conduit for Catherine’s creative practice and the management of the pragmatics of budget, program and site constraints that were part of our contractual obligations with Probuild.”

At over 20 metres high, Cascade reflects the importance of a sense of place, both in connection with the local and the wider Western Australian environments, and which simultaneously expresses the hotel’s signature qualities of elegance, luxury and sophistication.

The location’s history and connection to the Swan River and riverside precinct, the unique qualities of Western Australia’s Kimberley gorges, and an understanding of the scale, tactile and iconic value of the artwork within the context of its location, both physically and culturally were the main considerations for the glistening artwork which transforms with the changing daylight.

UAP reinterpreted Woo’s photography into a monumental sculptural wall of perforated cast metal panels that shimmer and ripple like light reflecting on cascading water.

Cascade in production. Image: Supplied.
The Central Plaza Canopy at James Cook University in Townsville features artwork by Megan Cope. Image: Supplied

After the Flood

After the Flood, by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope, covers the entire 479 unique soffit panels of The Central Plaza Canopy at James Cook University in Townsville. The vault-like canopy designed by Cox Architecture’s Brisbane studio is centrally located on a key nexus between several pathways through the university, the adjacent Wadda Mooli Creek, a large event lawn and a water feature. The design utilises striking geometry that relates to water collection as a key element of the tropical location.

The image on each perforated soffit panel is individually printed to create one monumental, fully integrated artwork which is part of a series of artworks by Cope that illustrate how environment, identity, geomorphology and mapping are interwoven over time. Using old military maps of the Townsville coastline, After the flood explores potential sea level rises and their connection to climate change.

A UAP Brisbane spokesperson said UAP’s design team worked closely with Cope and Cox Architecture to facilitate the conceptual and technical development of the concept.

“Megan used a combination of archival maps, water colour, and digital compositing to develop the work, and consulted with the Traditional Owners to incorporate Bindal language place names onto the map,” they said.

The Cox Architecture designed canopy features integrated artwork by Megan Cope. Image: Supplied

Jackalope by artist Emily Floyd, was commissioned for Jackalope Hotel on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Image: Roger De Souza

Jackalope by artist Emily Floyd and Coexistence by Limelight are the final Australian artworks of the 2020 CODAawards Top 100.

Sikes said she established the awards “to recognize the amazing, outstanding commissioned artwork that was being created around the world, and celebrate the collaborations that are happening between artists and the individuals who commission them, the architects, developers and public art agencies.” 

“CODAworx does this on a year-round basis through our website, and produces the CODAawards to shine a spotlight on the very best of those projects,” she said.

You can vote for the People’s Choice Award here.


Coexistance is a site-specific projection mapping for Vivid Sydney 2019 designed by Lightworks. Image: Supplied
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