Neutral Bay Public Art Installations



Walter Liberty Vernon by ESEM Projects
“This option includes a creative treatment of a photographic portrait responding to the life and work of Walter Liberty Vernon. Vernon was resident in Neutral Bay and also NSW Government Architect appointed in 1890, designing the Art Gallery of NSW, Central Station and Mitchell Library among other major civic landmarks. Our approach to the artwork
connects contemporary audiences to the story and legacy of Vernon at a time when Sydney is undergoing major civic renewal. The artwork will integrate architectural and artistic motifs that inspired Vernon, including arts and crafts motifs
and free classical style. We see the opportunity to extend this approach in the development of a local artwork for Neutral Bay that captures the civic vision of Vernon, who saw the design of public buildings as ‘Monuments to Art’"

Walter Liberty Vernon (1846-1913)
Architect. Lived in Neutral Bay. As NSW Government Architect he designed many iconic buildings including Central Railway Station, the Art Gallery of NSW and the Mitchell Library


Sydney based ESEM Projects work across media, design, strategy and story-telling. They are visual communicators, cultural historians, place-makers and digital innovators committed to capturing the unique story of every place and community they work with. Headed by Michael Killalea and Sarah Barns their work includes graphics, projection, illustration and reinterpreting existing photographic images. Public art and heritage commissioned artworks include for Barangaroo Development Authority, City of Sydney, Bathurst Regional Council, City of Newcastle, ANU, ABC, Westfield Miranda, Stockland and Inner West Council. https://www.esemprojects.com



Margaret Tucker by Warwick Keen

“The north shore in Sydney was heavily populated with Aboriginal people prior to colonisation and with my concept developments I’d love to highlight this most paramount aspect of this country’s history.
I’m a born and bred country man, and my Indigenous heritage emanates from north-western NSW. It was a pleasant surprise for me to discover that Margaret Tucker resided in Neutral Bay and so I have utilised her image among my concepts.
I have utilised my own artworks and images as a basis for all of my work. I have also utilised Photoshop software to create a more contemporary feel and design to my selected images.”

Warwick has been a practising artist for over 40 years and has taught Fine Arts, Visual Arts & Aboriginal Cultural Arts at TAFE NSW for over 20 years. He creates mainstream and indigenous imagery experiments with a wide range of mediums, including drawing, painting, wood- carving, photography and digital manipulation to express his “stories”. He was a featured artist in the exhibition “Bungaree: the First Australian” at Mosman Art Gallery as part of the bicentennial celebrations associated with the establishment of Bungaree’s Farm, the first land grant by colonial authorities to an Aboriginal person in Australia.



Dame Mary Gilmore by Paul McDonald

“Dame Mary Gilmore was an Australian writer and journalist known for her prolific contributions to Australian literature and the broader national discourse. She was also the female face of the Australian $10 note and taught at Neutral Bay School. One of her most important works was published in 1931, The Wild Swan, which drilled into the unfair way Aborigines were treated by the white population, particularly in how their old lore was being systematically destroyed. Responding to this, the local history, land and the portrait of Dame Mary Gilmore, I will collect fallen leaves and other plants from the local area. From this I will use a traditional photographic printing process called ’Cyanotype”.

Paul McDonald has 20 years’ experience in photography and is an experienced educator, mentor and curator. He is currently Director of contact sheet, an international initiative based in North Sydney promoting excellence and innovation in photographic practice. Previously employed at Australian Centre for Photography as Associate Director, Paul has developed photographic programs for LGBTI, migrant and indigenous youth. He has judged competitions for Shoot the Chef (Fairfax), Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Mardi Gras. His work has been exhibited in Europe, USA, China and Australia, and he is currently curating exhibitions for emerging and established artists, Head On Photo Festival, Sunstudios and Canon Australia. https://contactsheet.com.au



Walter Liberty Vernon by ESEM Projects
“This option includes a creative treatment of a photographic portrait responding to the life and work of Walter Liberty Vernon. Vernon was resident in Neutral Bay and also NSW Government Architect appointed in 1890, designing the Art Gallery of NSW, Central Station and Mitchell Library among other major civic landmarks. Our approach to the artwork
connects contemporary audiences to the story and legacy of Vernon at a time when Sydney is undergoing major civic renewal. The artwork will integrate architectural and artistic motifs that inspired Vernon, including arts and crafts motifs
and free classical style. We see the opportunity to extend this approach in the development of a local artwork for Neutral Bay that captures the civic vision of Vernon, who saw the design of public buildings as ‘Monuments to Art’"

Walter Liberty Vernon (1846-1913)
Architect. Lived in Neutral Bay. As NSW Government Architect he designed many iconic buildings including Central Railway Station, the Art Gallery of NSW and the Mitchell Library


Sydney based ESEM Projects work across media, design, strategy and story-telling. They are visual communicators, cultural historians, place-makers and digital innovators committed to capturing the unique story of every place and community they work with. Headed by Michael Killalea and Sarah Barns their work includes graphics, projection, illustration and reinterpreting existing photographic images. Public art and heritage commissioned artworks include for Barangaroo Development Authority, City of Sydney, Bathurst Regional Council, City of Newcastle, ANU, ABC, Westfield Miranda, Stockland and Inner West Council. https://www.esemprojects.com



Margaret Tucker by Warwick Keen

“The north shore in Sydney was heavily populated with Aboriginal people prior to colonisation and with my concept developments I’d love to highlight this most paramount aspect of this country’s history.
I’m a born and bred country man, and my Indigenous heritage emanates from north-western NSW. It was a pleasant surprise for me to discover that Margaret Tucker resided in Neutral Bay and so I have utilised her image among my concepts.
I have utilised my own artworks and images as a basis for all of my work. I have also utilised Photoshop software to create a more contemporary feel and design to my selected images.”

Warwick has been a practising artist for over 40 years and has taught Fine Arts, Visual Arts & Aboriginal Cultural Arts at TAFE NSW for over 20 years. He creates mainstream and indigenous imagery experiments with a wide range of mediums, including drawing, painting, wood- carving, photography and digital manipulation to express his “stories”. He was a featured artist in the exhibition “Bungaree: the First Australian” at Mosman Art Gallery as part of the bicentennial celebrations associated with the establishment of Bungaree’s Farm, the first land grant by colonial authorities to an Aboriginal person in Australia.



Dame Mary Gilmore by Paul McDonald

“Dame Mary Gilmore was an Australian writer and journalist known for her prolific contributions to Australian literature and the broader national discourse. She was also the female face of the Australian $10 note and taught at Neutral Bay School. One of her most important works was published in 1931, The Wild Swan, which drilled into the unfair way Aborigines were treated by the white population, particularly in how their old lore was being systematically destroyed. Responding to this, the local history, land and the portrait of Dame Mary Gilmore, I will collect fallen leaves and other plants from the local area. From this I will use a traditional photographic printing process called ’Cyanotype”.

Paul McDonald has 20 years’ experience in photography and is an experienced educator, mentor and curator. He is currently Director of contact sheet, an international initiative based in North Sydney promoting excellence and innovation in photographic practice. Previously employed at Australian Centre for Photography as Associate Director, Paul has developed photographic programs for LGBTI, migrant and indigenous youth. He has judged competitions for Shoot the Chef (Fairfax), Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Mardi Gras. His work has been exhibited in Europe, USA, China and Australia, and he is currently curating exhibitions for emerging and established artists, Head On Photo Festival, Sunstudios and Canon Australia. https://contactsheet.com.au