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Education In The Community

The Public Art Squad

Australian artist Rodney Monk believes public art should reflect the aspirations and values of the community in which it is placed. He is inspired by the diversity of the natural and built landscape and its people.

His creative and vibrant images identify places and entertain audiences making his work sought after in public spaces, hospitals, schools and commercial developments. He produced the decorative art components – murals, terrazzo carpets, mosaics and banners – for many of Sydney’s major retail precincts such as Harbourside at Darling Harbour and the modern retail centre, Skygarden. He often collaborates on large glass art, light and terrazzo commissions with partner Giselle Courtney.

Monk’s work inspires and creates community identity. In 2004 he was invited to Tegucigalpa, Honduras by the United Nations Volunteers to paint “Healthy Children for a Peaceful World”, a 22m high mural on the city’s Hospital Escuela.

He has designed and painted more than 200 murals throughout Australia and overseas, ranging from spirited community art projects on streets and in schools to paintings on the walls of private homes. Monk co-authored “The Mural Manual” (1981) with David Humphries and for 13 years they developed the Public Art Squad as a leader of the Australian mural and community art resurgence. Street mural, ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’, won the major “Sulman Prize” at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1985. Mural painting became recognised as a multi media art form for view in public places - streets, neighbourhoods and shopping centres. The audience was the open community and the clients, co–workers and source of inspiration were drawn from local residents.

The ‘Machismo’ mural was part of a project run by the Education Dept in NSW to inspire and involve children in art projects.

"Machismo" by Rodney Monk. Designed with students at Granville Boys’ High School, NSW, Australia, 2000 (Photo © R. Monk) www.cmsart.com )

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