Nicole Monks commissioned for the Coast Walk public art program


Award-winning designer and artist Nicole Monks has been hired to deliver a new piece of public art to McKillop Park on Freshwater Headland as part of the Coast Walk public art project.

Northern Beaches CEO Ray Brownlee said Ms Monks’ company, mili mili, was selected from 38 high-quality submissions by the council’s public art selection panel.

“We are delighted that Ms. Monk is involved in this major project. It will become an important destination as part of the 36 km track.

“We are excited to see how Nicole’s artwork will establish a dialogue with the natural environment, share the ongoing Indigenous culture, and creatively articulate and enhance this incredible place.”

“The Coastal Walk stretches from Manly to Palm Beach connecting and celebrating some of Sydney’s most iconic beaches and surf spots, rock ocean pools, water reserves, surf rescue clubs, headlands, lagoons , archaeological sites and places of important local heritage. The addition of public art along the trail will make this walk even more memorable. Mr Brownlee said.

For the McKillop Park project, the Council invited Australian and international artists to submit proposals for this highly visible and iconic site on the Coastal Walk.

Ms. Monks said this project will reflect her strong ties to Indigenous philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration.

“I look forward to hearing from the Permanent Trustees and learning more about Country. Collaborating with the local crowd to create a place that inspires a deeper connection and respect for this country’s permanent caretakers is important.

“This country contains layers of untold stories; these stories are made visible when the community shares knowledge of the place, ”Ms. Monks said.

“The promontory offers the community and visitors the opportunity to breathe a little bit of the hustle and bustle of the city, slow down and reconnect with nature and the stories of this important place.

“This project will symbolize the start of a new journey and the revitalization of the history and culture of this place.

The project is currently in the community engagement and design development stage.

The artist will engage with local indigenous stakeholders and local communities until early 2022 and aims to install the artwork by the end of 2022.

About the artist

Nicole Monks is a multidisciplinary designer of Yamaji Wajarri, of Dutch and English heritage, living and working on Worimi and Awabakal Country (Newcastle). Monks’ practice is influenced by his cross-cultural identity, using storytelling as a way to connect the past with the present and the future. His works take a conceptual approach, are grounded in storytelling, and aim to promote conversation and connection.

Award-winning designer and artist, Monks crosses disciplines to work with furniture and objects, video, installation, performance and public art. Through these various forms of art and design, his work reflects Indigenous philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration. Monks is renowned for her success as a solo and collaborative artist and is the founder of the black and white design practice, as well as the public art company mili mili of Continuing Custodians.

Monks is currently a Professor of Practice for the UNSW School of Art, Design and Architecture, serves on the UNSW Galleries Advisory Board, the Powerhouse Museum of Applied Design Advisory Board. Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and is a

Permanent Depositary Adviser to the Design Institute of Australia.

Monks won the UNSW Art & Design Indigenous Professional Development Award, the ArtsNSW Aboriginal Design grant, the Vivid Design competition (furniture) and the winner of the Museums and Galleries of NSW IMAGinE award. The works of the monks are part of national collections, including the Powerhouse, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), the National Gallery of Victoria, the Macquarie Group Collection, the Art Gallery of WA, and the Museum of Art and Culture, Lake Macquarie.

/ Public distribution. This material from the original organization / authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author (s). See it in full here.


Kayleen C. Rice