New public art for Parramatta Road

Thursday 21 October 2021

The first of three exciting public artworks has been installed in Leichhardt as part of the Parramatta Road Urban Amenity Improvement Program.

The Parramatta Road Urban Amenity Improvement Program (PRUAIP) is a $198 million initiative by the NSW Government to improve open space and active transport links along Parramatta Road.

Six councils received funding to deliver 32 projects. In the Inner West, this included more than $20 million for a new park, new cycle and Greenway connections and improvements to surrounding streets.

The aim of the program is to bring Parramatta Road back to life and reflect that the neglected roadway actually borders some of Sydney’s most active cultural suburbs.

The three artworks will be eye-catching and dramatic. Two celebrate Italian culture, which reflect the recent Council project to name the area Little Italy.

As part of this project, Council is inviting everyone to contribute memories of Italian Leichhardt in the 1950s and ‘60s, stories of migration from Italy to Leichhardt and also from anyone who rode a Vespa in the early years of its introduction into Australia. Email

The three artworks are:

Moto Baccio by Karl Meyer, on Renwick Street

Vespa-inspired seating will be painted Rosso Corsa (red), the colour used internationally by Italian motor racing teams.

This work sits seamlessly with Council new precinct in central Leichhardt named Little Italy.

Petersham Escarpment by Simon Reece, on Petersham Street

Petersham Escarpment is a ceramic mural inspired by community desire for Parramatta Road to be greened and “soft-scaped”. The mural consists of hundreds of hand-formed, green glazed and kiln fired tiles affixed to a 23 metre long purpose built steel frame.

Chiaroscuro by Alessandra Rossi and Adam Cruikshankon, on Norton Street

Chiaroscuro is a gateway light work comprising multiple coloured light cells suspended across Norton Street. Each light cell is of varying size and colour representing the individual Italians who decided to migrate here.

For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 9392 5334 or

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Page last updated: 26 Oct 2021