Artwork sought for new police station

An artist’s impression of the new New Norfolk Police Station,
which is to be built on the site of the existing station.

A $30,000 commission is being offered for a Tasmanian artist to create a photo-essay for New Norfolk’s new police station.

With the demolition of the existing police station in Bathurst St due to start in September, Arts Tasmania is now seeking applications for an artwork that highlights the story of the local police service and its role in the Derwent Valley.

Tasmania Police has requested a photographic essay to document the the story of the local police service and its role in the Derwent Valley community. The existing building, opened in 1967, was designed by Tasmania’s Department of Public Works in a modernist, mid-century architectural style, and consists of offices, interview rooms, cells and interior courtyards.

Many original features remain, including timber panelling, tiling, furniture and fittings, providing an insight into the experience of a Tasmanian regional police station. The photo-essay could focus on the building itself, or use the building as a setting for other content.

Significant written records of day-to-day police activities in the Derwent Valley can be made available to the successful artist, such as duty logs, correspondence registers, and applications for permits and licences, reflecting community life from the 1960s onwards. The records contain daily incidents and activities of the local police. Former New Norfolk police staff have agreed to be involved in the project by sharing stories or photographs.

A “landscape corridor” will provide a view through the new
police station to be built in Bathurst St, New Norfolk. 

The successful applicant will be given access to the existing building, which has been vacated by the police. The same site has been the location of New Norfolk’s police station and jail since colonial times. Until the 1930s it was also the location of the local court and council chambers.

Inside the new station there will be several opportunities to install large photographic prints in the foyer, waiting area and internal courtyard/light well at the heart of the new building. The courtyard will be a garden space, visible from the public waiting area, offices and the operational areas of the station, with three glass walls and one masonry wall.

Options for the proposed artwork include one or a combination of the following:

  • Semi-transparent adhesive prints on the three glass walls surrounding the internal courtyard, which could assist with privacy, while admitting natural light and preserving the “landscape corridor” 
  • Large printed panels or other media attached to, or built in, to the masonry courtyard wall
  • Adhesive prints or panels on other walls in the waiting area.

Tasmania Police says it would also welcome proposals that could make the photo essay content available via additional platforms or media.

Applications close on June 22 and the project must be completed by December. Photographers are encouraged to apply for this commission, and collaborations with a writer, architect or social/community historian will be welcomed. A second artistic commission for the New Norfolk police station will be advertised in the second half of 2020. The new police station is to open next year.

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