The intent of this thesis and its attendant body of practical work was to examine and test ideas and practices that can inform and expand the artists' role in the post-industrial public realm and its environmental context. The general focus was on transformative approaches to contemporary public art. The specific interest (and area of practice) is defined by artwork that takes an interdisciplinary approach to new forms of social creativity in the context of post-industrial environmental change. This dissertation begins with a broad literature review to understand public art and its relationship to: the public realm, ecology, nature and the environment. The intent was to understand the theory and process that inform answers to questions regarding the artists' ability to affect public policy; the ability to expand the creative act beyond singular authorship and finally the question of can we verify the impact of art? The thesis closes with two chapters describing practical work on 'Nine Mile Run' a project that developed an ecological restoration approach to post-industrial public space; also '3 Rivers 2nd Nature' which focused upon the emancipation of, and a means to advocate for post industrial nature. These projects were developed with the intention to test theory through application and value through outcome. The goal was to provide a better understand of ideas that define and enable collaborative or inter-relational approaches to transformative art practice. The intention was to make a small contribution to the theoretical framework that informs the conceptualization, experience and valuation of transformative public art practices that intend to affect the material and conceptual forms of the post-industrial public realm. It is through intellectual study and ongoing practice that the three original questions are addressed with a cautionary affirmative. Other specific findings include the following. • The ongoing tension between individual freedom and social interaction is best addressed through a moral commitment to creativity in relationship to the emancipation of people, places and things. • Visual evidence can not be the sole focal point of critical engagement with transformative practice. • Transformative practices that undertake an inter-relational methodology demand ethical, responsible and distributed outcomes.

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