Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Civic Square Launceston - Documenting Change

Have you ever made a visit to Launceston and walked around the public buildings and public spaces known as Civic Square?  Here you will find a Modernist treasure trove of architecture, public spaces and public art works that combine to provide, until recently, an original and intact example of 1960/70/80s Modernism.  The space is home to the public library (pictured) designed in the 1970s with its wonderful form through the use of red brick strips.  The next time you look up at the library note how the bricks curve ever so slightly, this was part of the design.  The public artworks are many, they can be seen dotted around Civic Square itself as well as in public buildings, such as the wonderful ceramic artwork inside of Henty House.  Redevelopment of Civic Square has been occurring and with it some features will be lost from the original design aesthetic.

The curved water fountain facing Charles Street is stunning and is one of the earliest designs on site, I love its river stones that are used and guide my eye onward to the curved water fountain itself.  Henty House, the Magistrates Court and the Police Station are all Modernist designs of major historical and aesthetic value and on your visit to Launceston are worth checking out.  I love the subtle details too, the original bricks that formed Civic Square, and the sitting areas too with the red brick angles so reminiscent of that period.  Much of this will be lost forever, and as a photographer I spent much time there documenting so as to have a visual record of this major public space and buildings.  Places change, but its fascinating to look at photographs I reckon - they are a portal into our past, of how spaces and buildings once looked.  Sometimes it feels like the early 1980s when Civic Square was officially opened wasn't that long ago.  But it is nearly 40 years ago.  I wonder how long the new development and original buildings will stick around for until the circle of change and redevelopment occurs once again.

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About the project

Join me (Thomas Ryan Photography) on a photographic project documenting Tasmanian 20th Century Modernism from the 1930's to the 1980's. The entire project gallery of 1000+ images and counting can be viewed on my website under art projects. I have been undertaking this project for over a decade.

My portfolio of commercial and art projects can be seen on my website and I can be contacted here as well. All photographs are copyright of Thomas Ryan Photography. Unauthorised use is prohibited. Contact me for all enquires

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