Books & Literature

Book Review: Art Made Public, by Marijana Tadic, Miroslav Micanovic, & Marie Falcinella

ART: Art Made Public celebrates Marijana Tadic, whose work has significantly impacted urban landscapes across Adelaide, South Australia, and surrounding regions.

A rich, diverse, and fascinating, dive into public art.

Feature image credit: Wakefield Press

Artist Marijana Tadic is one of South Australia (and Australia’s) greatest living sculptors. Even if the name is not familiar, the works will be. You probably drive or walk past one of her public art pieces on a regular basis.

Art Made Public is a celebration of her work, but also a fascinating exploration of the role of public art in general. Tadic chooses 10 of her own works to discuss, explaining the planning, preparation, and considerable thought that goes into such a project, even before any concrete has been poured or nails hammered in. Tadic explains in admirably clear language the elements of each of these projects, and the thinking behind them. Particularly fascinating are the occasional pages from the original design proposals. Some of the works include: Phosphoresce, in the heart of Victor Harbor; Together Woven, in the Greenfields wetlands; Dancing Ribbon in Grote Street; and, of course, Gateway to Adelaide at the “bottom of the freeway.” Tadic’s works are bold, welcoming, highly textural, and very much engage in dialogue with their settings. Some of her less well-known and smaller works are included, giving a sense of the breadth of this artist’s vision.

The book includes a short essay The Experience of Creating Space, by commentator Miroslav Micanovic, and Marie Falcinella provides a warm and insightful biography of Tadic.

Tadic herself includes a list of 50 questions which she asks at the beginning of a public art project, including: What can I contribute to the space? What functions could this place serve? How will people of different ages perceive this place? How will the materials we use age? These are questions that possibly more architects and builders could ask themselves prior to starting a project!

This work is amply illustrated with full-colour, and mostly full-page, photographs of the works, along with Tadic’s own drafts and notes. As always with a Wakefield Press book, it is a beautiful publication.

Art Made Public is obviously a great book for followers of Tadic’s work, but also for artists, art students, architecture and urban planning students, and anyone who appreciates great public art. It would also make a fine gift for anyone who just loves Adelaide and its spaces.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Wakefield Press
Released: April 2024
RRP: $50

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