The Making of Community Circle by Paula Hart

A unique artwork that authentically captures the meaning of the local area through use of Treeby Primary School drawings.

Community Circle is an art piece at Lake Treeby designed by Western Australian visual artist, Paula Hart. The artwork aimed to capture the essence of Lake Treeby and the immediate surrounding areas. Treeby Primary School student drawings were incorporated into the development of this art piece.

The Purpose

The aim was to create an artwork that was infused with meaning and connections. One that communicates ideas and feelings which help people understand more about themselves and their environment.

The way a building or landscape is designed has an effect on our happiness and well-being. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, and this brings us to take responsibility for those spaces and the people and communities around us.

With the inclusion of an intricately detailed, hand crafted artwork, it adds a further emotional connection. Something which has been made by hand tends to elicit feelings of warmth and connection.

Working With Treeby Primary School Students

Paula worked with Treeby Primary School students to develop ‘Community Circle’ and asked the students to discuss topics such as:

  • the different activities they enjoy doing in Treeby
  • their parents jobs and what they did on weekends

Paula tried to establish if there were unique things done here that didn’t happen elsewhere, and then guided the students through a drawing process for detail and movement.

The artwork authentically captures the charm of children’s drawings, while creating a strong visual work that has sophistication and significance amongst contemporary Australian arts practice.

The Inner Tube

The top section features trees, birds and housing. The birds were each drawn by students, whilst the housing is the artist’s design with the intention that this drops away as textural background.

While dog walking was identified by so many children, this lower imagery sits behind the figures and creates a textural background.

The Outer Feature Layer

The outer feature layer is primarily a ring of almost freestanding figures utilising the students’ drawings. This uses an off white feature colour to contrast with the colour of the inner tube.

About Paula Hart

Paula enjoys exploring stories of people, community, place and identity. She has a driving commitment to create artworks that build a sense of place and will inspire & delight the community.

Her artworks include public art, community murals, theatre commissions, festivals & events and artist-in-residencies both in and outside Australia. Paula achieved international recognition in the 2020 CODA awards.

She always aims for her artworks to be interesting, innovative and challenging. But most importantly, they need to be accessible, to strike a chord with the public who will see it.

One of the strongest aspects of her work is her ability to work together with young people and diverse communities to make artworks that represent them. She has worked with a wide variety of people of all sorts of backgrounds and collectives to examine their identity, their beliefs and the message they wish to portray. This experience has informed a driving commitment to create art employing processes of community participation, cultural mapping and identity.

View more of her artworks here.


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