This case-study will present learnings from the public art project ‘Snakes and Ladders’, a fifty metre, ground plane mural in Sydney Olympic Park, in Sydney’s western suburbs. This was a collaboration between Digby Webster, an artist with Down syndrome, and Nadia Odlum, an artist without disability who specialises in playful, large-scale public art. Snakes and Ladders was commissioned by the Sydney Olympic Parks Authority (SOPA) as a result of a community consultation and co-design process, and was supported by Accessible Arts, the peak body for advancing the rights of New South Wales artists who have disability and/or who are d/Deaf. The result was a public artwork that functions as an inclusive playspace, supporting the right to play for all people who visit or live in Sydney Olympic Park.
The key achievements of this project were the meaningful inclusion of an artist with disability in a significant public art project, and the creation of an accessible and inclusive opportunity for play in public space. This case-study focuses on process, including the community consultation process that led to the commission; the role of peak body Accessible Arts in facilitating and guiding the commission; the methods used to ensure accessibility in the artwork design; and the collaborative process between Digby and Nadia, including the steps taken to support Digby’s access requirements and ensure his full participation in the commission from concept to delivery.
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