Piecing it Together

Design Feature
Project Type

The innovative Piecing it Together project, an initiative coordinated by Council on the Ageing (COTA) Tasmania,  Illustrates how public art can make a strong contribution to the quality of streets and spaces. This project showcases how an intergenerational street art project can enliven a previously underused public space, which in turn encourages active living (with subsequent benefits for health, including heart health).

Challenging stereotypes

The project reflects several Healthy Active by Design features in action, including Sense of Place, Public Open Space and Destinations. The site and project are small in scale, but clearly illustrate significant co-benefits for community engagement and placemaking, with opportunities for activity.

Eastlands Shopping Centre before the project was implemented. Photo source: COTA Tasmania.
Eastlands Shopping Centre before the project was implemented. Photo source: COTA Tasmania.

Piecing it Together is an intergenerational street art project that brings younger and older people together to learn about, design, and create street art. The project challenges stereotypes around age, with the aims of reducing ageism and promoting community respect.

Piecing it Together was inspired by a Portuguese project called Lata 65; in this project, people aged over 65 design and create street art to brighten the streets of Lisbon.

The project challenges ideas about how people of different ages can express themselves creatively. Putting an intergenerational twist on the project, COTA Tasmania brought people aged 12 to 18 years together with people aged over 60 years to engage in a similar initiative.

Eastlands Shopping Centre after the project was implemented. Photo source: COTA Tasmania.
Eastlands Shopping Centre after the project was implemented. Photo source: COTA Tasmania.

The first Piecing it Together project was delivered in 2018 in Ryde Street, North Hobart, with the support of Hobart City Council. The project’s outcome was a piece of art reflecting the local sporting and cultural precincts. Following this success, COTA Tasmania found an enthusiastic supporter in Clarence City Council to investigate a second project.

Following discussions with Eastlands Shopping Centre, located in Rosny alongside a variety of mixed uses and community facilities that form a central hub to the Clarence municipality, a site was found to host the next Piecing it Together project. This new site creates an opportunity to brighten a dull, busy walkway connecting the bus mall to the shopping complex. After hearing about the project, and wanting to support its worthwhile message, RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel provided funding to cover the costs of purchasing paint.

Jamin, a Tasmanian street artist and muralist, brought  participants’ ideas and skills together to develop the piece. Participants spent three days learning about street art and discussing ideas for the piece that would incorporate local sense of place and their own life learnings.

Jamin with the Project participants. Photo source: COTA Tasmania.
Jamin with the Project participants. Photo source: COTA Tasmania.

Surprisingly, the reflections on life experiences shared by both groups were similar. After settling on the theme of taking risks (a concept that all participants related to), younger and older participants paired up to prepare bird stencils to reflect the process of taking a leap of faith as we “leave the nest” of our comfort zones.

The art project took three days of painting to complete. Across this time, participants learned spray paint techniques, how to use masking tape as a stencil, and how to apply their layered bird stencils, supporting each other to complete the piece.

A City-funded evaluation found that participants were surprised by how people of different ages contributed throughout the project, particularly with working together, contributing to discussion and having similar ideas and issues.  All participants enjoyed working with, and learning from, people of different ages. Another key learning was how proud everyone was with their work, with many taking friends and family to visit the site.

Professional videos were produced to capture the project and participants’ journeys. These videos will also promote the benefits of the project to future funders. Videos illustrating the project can be viewed on the COTA website.

Project Team

  • COTA Tasmania
  • Jamin, street artist and muralist
  • Clarence City Council
  • Tasmanian Government
  • Vicinity Centres/Eastlands (shopping centre)
  • RACV Hobart Apartment Hotel

Project Cost 

$25, 000 (This cost includes $10,000 of professional video production and evaluation).

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