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Julie Stoneman – Beaconsfield Child and Family Centre

Winged kinetic public art


The ‘butterfly effect’ refers to the phenomena where an action is carried out in one place, at one time, often resulting in another action at another time and place that has a positive and ongoing effect. Within the context of the Beaconsfield Child and Family Centre, when children and parents receive information and support through the centre’s activities, good things flow from this in the future.

The ‘butterfly effect’ concept also refers directly to the artwork’s winged forms, kinetic movement and interplay of light, all inspired by a butterfly wing.

The design language used is based upon the idea of bringing the natural world into the interior spaces, whist at the same time utilizing a contemporary design language and use of innovative state-of-the-art material technologies. The main entrance has two large, ‘fantastical’ plant/winged kinetic sculptures approximately 5m high, each with an elegant curved steel stem and two coloured spinning wing forms to the top, symbolizing a flower or flying creature slowly moving in the wind. These two elements form a gateway into the centre creating an exciting entry experience and activating the area.

Leading from the entry along the spine towards the Beaconsfield Child and Family Centre, a second group of sculptures draws people into the building. This second series of forms utilise the same visual language as used in the entry sculptures and is based on butterfly wing patterns. They are made of curved painted steel, with integrated coloured acrylic spinning disks. The children can move the coloured discs containing multiple colours and create kaleidoscopic effects of light, colour and movement. The works are interactive and engaging to both children and adults.

The artwork
• celebrates the entry to the whole precinct, using a strong and easily recognizable visual language
• encourages users to move through the different zones through interacting with the sculptures
• is a powerful artistic statement about the ephemeral qualities of ‘light play’ whilst engaging the children in fun and interactive activities appropriate to their age group
• is robust, low maintenance and suitable for a public space with materials chosen for their long life and vibrancy.

This work is part of the Tasmanian government’s public art collection commissioned through the Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme.


Julie Stoneman is a visual artist and landscape architect with experience working across different disciplines and conceptual approaches. Julie has completed ten Tasmanian state government public art projects located in schools, Hospitals and LINC centres across the state. Her photographic installations include the Royal Hobart Hospital Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Low Head Pilot Station, Smithton District Hospital, Paterson’s Lane (Launceston) and the Tasmanian Audit office. Sculptural public art projects include the Lansdowne Crescent Primary School (Cloud Seats), Kingsmeadows High school (Optic Shimmer) and the Rosny LINC (Hyperlink sculptural seat).

Ms Stoneman started her public art career with the Hobart City Council’s North Hobart Community Pavement project where she worked with over 100 North Hobart residents to create multicultural patterned ceramic pavers integrated into the North Hobart pavement.  Other Hobart City Council pavement projects include the Bidencopes Lane project (Hobart) where she worked with homeless youth on the creation of integrated laneway text and the Criterion St Pavement project (Hobart) where she integrated cast aluminium and coloured concrete throughout the streetscape.

Through her role as Hobart City Council Landscape Architect,  Ms Stoneman also designed the national award winning Victoria Cross Memorial at the Cenotaph, Queens Domain and numerous public spaces around in and around Hobart.

She now runs her Topology Design practice from the Salamanca Arts Centre Hobart, developing her visual arts practice including pen and ink drawings, fabric and ceramic designs.

Ms Stoneman’s visual arts work is represented at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Tasmania Collection and ArtBank Australia as well as in numerous private collections. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Ceramic Design CIT (Melbourne), Fine Arts Degree from the University of Tasmania as well as a Post Graduate Degree in Landscape Architecture from QUT (Brisbane).

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