The inaugural contour 556 intervention into the Canberra landscape ran from 21 October – 13 November 2016. 

Contour 556 was curated by Neil Hobbs, with assistance from the contour 556 team: Karina Harris, Jordan Evans-Tse, Bronwyn Blake and Georgia Hobbs.

Contour 556 was a case study for Neil’s PhD research project on ‘the transformative nature of public art on the public realm.’ Artworks and performances linked in some way to Canberra’s cultural and political history.

Contour 556 saw 41 artworks and performances by 48 local, national and international artists installed on the lake shore and around the Kingston Arts Precinct. The artworks transformed iconic designed landscapes within the central lake area such as Bowen Park, Central Basin, The National Library foyer and forecourt, the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden, Megalo Print Studios and the Fitters Workshop. The artworks included light, sound and digital projections and added vibrancy to the lake edge and parkland. One of the works, Katy Mutton’s dazzle camouflage boat ‘In Plain Sight’ will remain visible on Lake Burley Griffin (and available for hire by the public) for 12 months. 

Of the 48 participating artists 33 were from the Canberra region, 13 from Brisbane, Tweed Heads, Sydney, Southern Highlands or Melbourne, and 2 international artists, from China and Germany.


Highlights video of 2016 Contour 556 interventions in the landscape public art festival in Canberra, October 2016


The opening night on Friday 21 October was attended by in excess of 300 people. It was held at the Commonwealth Place East Space, which was provided to the event team for the duration of the festival by the National Capital Authority. The event was opened by David Broker, director of Canberra Contemporary Art Space, and featured performances by Hiromi Tango, Jacqueline Bradley, and Victor Evatt.



Alex Asch, Suzie Bleach + Andy Townsend, Alexander Boynes, Robert Boynes, Jacqueline Bradley, Jon Campbell, David Capra, Gary Carsley, Colin Chinnery, Marianne Courtenay + Bev Hogg, Chrisoph Dahlhausen, Ham Darroch, Michelle Day, Mariana Del Castillo, Victor Evatt, Geoff Farquhar-Still, David Jensz, Karena Keys, Michael Le Grand, Ros Lemoh, Dan Lorrimer, Ian Marr, Ann McMahon, Danie Mellor, Archie Moore, Katy Mutton, Kenzee Patterson, Miriam Pickard, Glenda Cloughley, Johanna McBride & A Chorus of Women, Millan Pintos-Lopez, Louis Pratt,Erica Seccombe, Paul Selwood, Alex Seton, Philip Spelman, Song Street Project, Hiromi Tango, Peter Vandermark, Haeli Van Veen, Wellspring (Phil Nizette & Jennifer Jones), Wendy Teakel & the Contour 556 poets.

Link to artists





Harris Hobbs Public Projects focuses on bringing our landscape architectural training, research and practice to the curatorial component of sculpture, digital and performance art. 

photos by J. Evans-Tse

Using Format