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The Right to Play: Snakes and Ladders

A case study

Abstract

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.

 

Read the full article in accessible html-format here.

Published:
Pages:243 to 258
Section: Non Academic / Case study
How to Cite
Odlum, N. and Collett, M. (2022) “The Right to Play: Snakes and Ladders”, The Journal of Public Space, 7(2), pp. 243-258. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v7i2.1501.

Author Biographies

Australia Australia

Nadia Odlum is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher based in Sydney. Driven by a fascination with urban environments, Odlum uses a broad range of materials and methods to create playful and immersive works that explore personal and collective experiences of urban life. With a visual language grounded in geometric abstraction, they drawing from the patterns and forms of the built environment, and the legacies of minimalist and optico-kinetic art movements. Often working site-specifically, Odlum deploys strategies of curiosity and queerness to create new interactions and perceptions within urban space. Odlum’s exhibition history includes presentations at the Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney), Home of the Arts (Gold Coast) and Mana Contemporary (New Jersey), as well as public art commissions for Urban Art Projects and Kaldor Public Art Projects. Education credentials include a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) at the National Art School 2012 and a Master of Fine Arts by Research at UNSW Art & Design 2016, receiving the Australian Postgraduate Award. Other awards include the Helen Lempriere Scholarship and the Dyason Bequest. Odlum has completed residencies at Cite Internationale des Arts Paris, The Wassaic Project in New York, Palazzo Monti in Italy and Parramatta Artists’ Studios in Sydney.

Australia Australia

An accomplished leader, consultant and facilitator with 15 years’ experience in government, the arts, not-for-profit and university sectors, Morwenna has worn the hats of CEO, Board Director, senior leadership team member, project manager, lecturer, researcher, trainer and advisor. A senior arts consultant specialising in strategy, diversity, access and inclusion, Morwenna is also currently the CEO at Accessible Arts, NSW’s peak body for arts and disability. Deeply committed to working towards a future where everyone has equal access to participate in the arts and society more broadly, Morwenna recognises and champions the importance of inclusion and fostering diverse voices. As an agent for change, she is sought after nationally and internationally for her expertise in the fields of the arts, disability and accessibility. She has developed national programs and initiatives, contributed to significant pieces of national arts and disability policy, raised funding from new revenue streams and expanded organisations into new areas. She makes an impact working with both large and small organisations to produce Strategic Plans, Disability Action Plans, evaluation/research/impact projects and deliver Disability Inclusion Training. Morwenna is currently a member of arts and inclusion advisory committees with the City of Sydney, Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival and Waverley Council and is a Board Director of Arts Capital (an ACT based arts venue collective). She was previously the Chair of the Sydney Arts Managers Advisory Group and has held various senior management roles at the Australia Council for the Arts, including Director of Major Performing Arts, Manager of Music, Manager of Project Controls and Risk and Disability Champion. She is an Affiliate of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA). In 2020, she completed a Churchill Fellowship, exploring inclusive music programs, venues and festivals which actively engage disabled people across the USA, UK and Ireland (report available here). Her work is influenced by her own lived experience as a musician with disability.

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Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658