Through a competitive Expression of Interest and shortlist process, the City of Hobart public art program commissioned Tasmanian artist, Alex Miles to create an artwork along the Rivulet Track in response to those communities impacted by the May 2018 floods in the Rivulet catchment area. The aim of the project was to acknowledge the destructive nature of the natural world and its incredible force and to consider how this could be harnessed to build community cohesion, connectivity and resilience through a creative re-imagining of place and space by a site-specific, responsive public art work.
Built around the statement “...through stronger connections with nature and with each other we become more resilient,” a new public artwork, entitled Rain Coming, was installed in the linear park running beside the Hobart Rivulet in late 2019. Commemorating the May 2018 flood event, and celebrating community resilience, the sculpture features an abstract portrayal of a family of black cockatoos flying down the hill and landing in an area where flood levels were at an extreme.
“Many believe that when the black cockatoos fly down from the mountain, it is a sign that rain is on its way,” artist Alex Miles said, explaining her inspiration for the concept.
At the point where the birds are situated, fragments of stories, experiences and reflections from local residents have been inscribed into the existing sandstone paving.
Residents impacted by the flood event were invited to contribute to Rain Coming via a public call-out earlier in the year.
“We received some great stories, poems and even music from people of all ages, and highlights of these responses have been incorporated,” Ms Miles said. “The project presented some nice opportunities to connect with South Hobart residents, as well as to work with local fabricators who were affected by the floods.”
“Since the work was installed I’ve had people who contributed stories approach me to say how happy they were to see how happy they were to have their responses incorporated into the work.”
This project has been jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.