Lateen Lane, Byron Bay NSW
ELYSIUM A place or state of perfect happiness. Wonderland. Paradise. Perfect Bliss.
The installation of Byron Shire Council’s first permanent Placemaking Seedfunding project, ELYSIUM was completed on March 15th in Byron’s CBD. The project involved artwork installations by five Byron Shire artists – Christina Waterson, Kellie O’Dempsey, Max Beaur, Harley Graham, and Colleen DaRosa. They were joined by Sydney artists Andrew Dennis, Sonia van de Haar and Berlin artist Danny Gretscher.
ELYSIUM had been planned for over 12 months and was delivered by local art design professionals, Jane Fullerton and Rebecca Townsend. Both have volunteered their time to this large scale project and raised over $90,00 through local business and philanthropists to cover supplier and material costs.
Major supporters of the project include Byron Shire Council, Base Backpackers, Splendour in the Grass, Harley Graham Architects and Stone & Wood Brewing Co. Numerous other local businesses and individuals were also behind the project, providing financial and in-kind support.
Acclaimed Australian street art filmmaker Selina Miles documented the project installation process with local musicians TORA providing the soundtrack. ELYSIUM incorporated mentorship with SCU visual art students and three emerging artists who are part of the SHIFT project which assists local women at risk of homelessness. They worked alongside artists in the delivery of artworks to gain valuable skills and professional experience.
ELYSIUM brought together a team of creative professionals driven by a desire to activate underutilised urban spaces and transform them into places of wonder and beauty. The project’s aim was to uplift and enliven a key CBD site through a curated application of colour, pattern, light, form, texture and planting – integrated with existing structures and in collaboration with tenants and building owners.
A transformation project of this scale and calibre is a first for Byron Bay. ELYSIUM intentionally moved away from traditional imagery associated with Byron Bay and instead aimed to provide locals and visitors with something entirely different – an immersive contemporary art experience.
‘As a local artist I’m very proud and excited to be part of this landmark project. The Byron CBD has grown a great deal in the past few years but without any real point of difference. I think this injection of contemporary art will really enliven the cultural experience of Byron and set a standard for future projects locally and elsewhere.’Colleen DaRosa.
Public Art Curator, Creative Road Art Projects
Landscape Architect, Jane Fullerton Design
Follow the ELYSIUM journey
“Love the work. Love the vision. I am so encouraged by this youthful, contemporary and vibrant art. Can we please have more of this? It makes Byron Bay look like the creative and energetic community it claims to be.”
“Just wanted to say ‘you guys rock!’ Please pass on my congrats to everyone involved. You’ve only just started and Byron is already feeling like a better place to live.”