The write/here project was a public art project conceived by Tasmanian artists Justy Phillips and James Newit. Part of the Ten Days on the Island Festival, it asked the residents of Hobart to pass along stories of their life in the capital of Tasmania.
Eye magazine tells us the artists convinced local businesses to donate their billboards for ten days – and to sponsor the new “skins” for their own billboards.
“Phillips and Newitt gathered comments from the public through one-to-one interviews, workshops, and exhibitions, and even opened a ‘story shop’ offering passers-by a dollar for their thoughts. Carefully framed questions – ‘What does Hobart mean to you?’, ‘Do you have any regrets?’, ‘What are your hopes for the future?’ – elicited responses that were honest, potent and moving. From the 1000 responses that they generated, 27 anonymous texts were selected, one for each of the billboard sites. “
That’s one there on the right.
This project is a two fer for me: the two year process of collecting stories and observations appeals to the historian and faux ethnographer in me.
The simple, stark but engaging billboards help the project stand out from their urban surroundings, and make no attempt to infer value, attributes or judgements about the statements they broadcast.
As an added reflection of the community’s reaction to the billboards, many of the images preserved on the project’s website include comments from Hobart residents.
There are pictures of all 27 billboards available on the Write/Here project site.