Exploring Public Art in Tamworth
Welcome, art enthusiasts to the vibrant and culturally rich city that is Tamworth!
Situated in regional New South Wales, Tamworth has plenty of public art depicting stories of history, culture, and human connection in the most artistic ways possible. Today, we are going on a journey through Tamworth’s public art scene.
Star Gazer III - 466 Peel Street
Our artistic adventure begins with a towering sculpture named “Star Gazer III” by Walcha artist Stephen King.
This 6-meter-high artwork is a marvel crafted from Stringybark using chainsaw carving techniques. It stands proudly in the Tamworth City Library and Tamworth Regional Gallery forecourt, inviting contemplation on politics, power, human foibles, and interrelationships.
Constellation: Walsh's Web
Step inside the Tamworth City Library and Tamworth Regional Gallery foyer to see “Constellation: Walsh’s Web” by Josh Chaffey. This installation commemorates Tamworth’s historical significance as the first City of Light. In 1888, Tamworth became the first city in Australia to be lit by municipal electric street lighting, 15 years ahead of state capital, Sydney! This artwork features 41 columns of light representing 41 significant towns and localities powered by Tamworth.
Woman, Life, Freedom Mural
A new piece of public art has been painted on the wall of Tamworth City Library and Regional Gallery, which has been inspired by the Woman, Life, Freedom movement in Iran. The art is symbolic of searching for freedom, with the words ‘woman, life, freedom’ in Persian calligraphy inside the sun and pomegranate, representing new hope. Mural artists included Asiyeh Ansari, Jae Eddison and Haideh Soleimani with Persian calligraphy by Haideh Soleimani, English calligraphy by Karen Balsar and Poetry by Aydin Areta.
Sub Station Murals - Tamworth CBD
As you wander through the streets of Tamworth, you’ll stumble upon a series of hand-painted murals on electrical substations. These murals depict local themes including the city’s deep connection to Country Music and its City of Light heritage. These murals bring Tamworth’s history to life in brilliant colors and intricate design.
You will find these spread out across Bicentennial Park, along with one situated near the Tamworth Regional Gallery, and another near the roundabout on Bourke Street.
Riverbend - Bicentennial Park
Tamworth Regional Playground is where you’ll find “Riverbend” by James Rogers. This work captures the fluid movement of water and the resonances created when a river turns back on itself. It also serves as a unique viewing platform, allowing you to frame the river like a picture through a frame – perfect for photos!
Holding Place - Bicentennial Park
Unveiled in September 2021, “Holding Place” is a steel sculpture created by Lucy Irvine in collaboration with Tamworth Regional Council and Andromeda Industries. This masterpiece is designed to provide a warm welcome to Bicentennial Park and travellers on Kable Avenue. Marvel at the intricate steelwork created with world-class steel as you start your journey through the park.
Dhinawangu Walaaybaa (Emu Nest) – Bicentennial Park
Explore the cultural depth of Tamworth with “Dhinawangu Walaaybaa (Emu Nest)” by regional artist and Gomeroi Yinarr, Amy Hammond. This sculpture honours the connection between the emu, the river, and the indigenous garaygalga (stories). It stands as a tribute to the lives lost through colonisation and continues to teach us the significance of this place in indigenous history.
Country Music Pioneers Parade – Bicentennial Park
Commemorate the legends of Australian Country music with a row of bronze busts featuring iconic figures such as Tex Morton, Buddy Williams, Barry Thornton, Stan Coster, Reg Lindsay, Jimmy Little, Shirley Thoms, and Chad Morgan. Frank Ifield joined this esteemed company in January 2019.
Spirit of the Peel - Bicentennial Park
Nestled in Bicentennial Park, the “Spirit of the Peel” sculptural seat emulates the curve of the Peel River. It connects stories from the original Aboriginal custodians and their timeless relationship with the river. Take a seat and enjoy the scenic view.
Picasso Guitar – Bicentennial Park
This 6.3-meter-high sculpture pays tribute to the guitar’s role in country music and Tamworth’s strong connection to the genre. Inspired by the guitar assemblages of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, this masterpiece by artist Peter Hooper was installed in 2016.
Music Ribbon Bench – Fitzroy Street
The “Music Ribbon Bench” is a functional seat and a visual delight! It represents Tamworth’s deep connection to music. The bench starts with a treble clef music note and rolls out, inviting you to recline on its gentle curve of music. Nearby, you’ll also spot musical note bike racks.
Country Music Statues
Finally, no tour of Tamworth is complete without the Country Music legends that make Tamworth the ‘Capital of Country’. Please ensure you take the time to view the stunning life size bronzes by artist Tanya Bartlett of Smoky Dawson, John Williamson, Slim Dusty and Joy McKean. You can even take a selfie with your favourite!
There are plenty more public art pieces to be found and admired, each contributing to the city’s vibrant culture, rich history, and boundless creativity. Immerse yourself in these artistic works and be inspired by these beauties of Tamworth.