PeopleLab's art installation in Canberra's Sydney building encourages people to get creative

If there is one thing which PeopleLab wants to give Canberrans, it's a different way of experiencing their city.

What was once an empty shopfront in the Sydney Building is now a temporary art installation dedicated to creativity cultivation, thanks to a City Renewal Authority grant.

For two weeks, PeopleLab's artists Claire Granata and Pablo Latona, along with producer Adelaide Rief, will be providing people with quirky ways to rediscover their own creativity.

Claire Granata and Pablo Lantana, who are putting together a public art installation in the Sydney building. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Claire Granata and Pablo Lantana, who are putting together a public art installation in the Sydney building. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

"We're part artist residence, part interactive art installation, and we're going to be testing a bunch of arts engagement strategies for the public for both passers-by and people that might see events online that we post, to kind of see what works and what doesn't work," Granata said.

"It's about the context; the context is everything. There will be other things we'll be doing that are perhaps less quirky, like using the space for coil weaving, basket weaving workshops or letter writing.

"But the other end of the spectrum we're doing things like turning Pablo into a maypole and inviting the public to come and wrap him up decoratively."

While PeopleLab has organised some artistic elements that they're sure will be winners with the public - such as the projection of puppy videos on the wall - they admit there will be times during the two weeks which won't be engaging.

However, according to Latona, every single element to the pop-up has been included because of its playfulness in the hopes that it encourages the public's creativity.

Claire Granata and Pablo Lantana are putting together a public art installation in the Sydney building. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Claire Granata and Pablo Lantana are putting together a public art installation in the Sydney building. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

"A lot of that stuff we don't know how or whether people will engage with it, so it's a fun way to find out," he said.

"We're going to have one workday lunchtime where we'll have nap time in here.

"We don't know if anyone is going to want to take a nap in an empty shopfront but if someone does we can make their day."

Nap time - complete with serenades from jazz guitarist Matthew Lustri - may not sound like a creative outlet, but producer Rief said the project was about facilitating everyday experiences with creativity.

Sometimes the creativity is obvious, such as the weaving workshop. Other times the creativity is less obvious, such as the session dedicated to patting a dog.

"As a society, we all specialise in things, so you don't have to do everything for yourself anymore. So creativity we have farmed out to artists," Latona said.

"That's a little bit of a shame because it is fun to be creative in your own person. There's a lot of benefits that flow on from that.

"So hopefully we can farm out our job back to the people and go 'No, we're not going to do all your art for you. You've got to do some for yourself'."

PeopleLab will be at 3/100 Alinga Street, City for two weeks, kicking off with a launch party on Thursday night.

For more details or for scheduled events, find PeopleLab on Facebook.