Lake Macquarie City Council offering $30,000 for public art installation with Smart Beaches theme at Redhead Beach

ART MEETS TECHNOLOGY: Redhead Beach is one of two Lake Macquarie beaches taking part in the Smarter Beaches project trial this summer. Picture: Supplied
ART MEETS TECHNOLOGY: Redhead Beach is one of two Lake Macquarie beaches taking part in the Smarter Beaches project trial this summer. Picture: Supplied

LAKE Macquarie City Council is offering a $20,000 commission for a public artwork at Redhead Beach, plus a further $10,000 to install the piece.

The project is part of the Smart Beaches project which will see an array of cameras and other sensors installed at the beach to assess beach conditions and amenity.

Expressions of interest have opened for the commission.

The brief calls for artists to take inspiration from the picturesque coastal setting, as well as the project's high-tech underpinnings.

Smart Beaches project manager Tony Blunden said the aim was to produce a piece of public art themed on beach conditions or beach safety.

"We want this artwork to engage beach-goers, raise their awareness of our Smart Beaches project and incorporate some of the technology or data we'll be collecting as part of the trial," Mr Blunden said.

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Council's arts, culture and tourism manager Jacqui Hemsley said submissions would be judged on their originality, quality, relevance and ability to articulate the core concepts of beach safety and conditions.

"The brief is deliberately broad, but all submissions will be considered on their merits," Ms Hemsley said.

"We're hoping this artwork will become a talking point and a way to engage beachgoers with the Smart Beaches project."

Redhead Beach and Blacksmiths Beach, in Lake Macquarie, and Manly Beach and Shelly Beach, in Sydney, are taking part in the Smart Beaches project.

The technology will be trialled throughout the 2019-20 beach season to gauge its value in assessing beach conditions and amenity use.

Data collected will be transmitted to lifeguards and other beach authorities to help manage their time and channel resources where they are needed most.

Smart Beaches is a joint project of Lake Macquarie City Council, Northern Beaches Council, and the University of Technology Sydney.

"It is funded partly under the Australian Government's Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, encouraging collaborative, cutting-edge projects that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of Australian cities, towns and suburbs," a spokesperson for the council said.

Submissions for the Smart Beaches artwork close at midnight on Tuesday, November 5. Go to lakemac.smartygrants.com.au/ for more information.

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