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Media Launch and Exhibition Preview
Barangaroo Reserve is the perfect place for Sydneysiders to experience and enjoy an outdoor art exhibition. Presented in partnership with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the iconic Sculpture by the Sea, Sculpture at Barangaroo features 14 artworks by nine established and emerging artists. Believe me, you don't want to miss this exhibition, so clear your schedule and make some time as Sculpture at Barangaroo is on now, from 5th - 20th August 2017.
This year, Geoffrey Edwards was invited to curate the exhibition and has chosen works which complement the landscape, engage with the history of Barangaroo Reserve and invite the audience to think and feel.
Richard Tipping is a poet and artist from NSW who combines text and images in his works, such as this piece titled, Kangooroo. We see one of our national emblems, a kangaroo, literally jump off the street sign with a distinctly Australian farewell "ooroo" or see you later. The authority of the street sign is manipulated by the artist as the kangaroo is given his freedom.
Andrew Rogers is a contemporary artist based in Melbourne. His work Folded 3 is a part of his Weightless series of works which challenge the formal limitations of bronze as a material by creating elements of delicacy. This artwork gives the appearance of fragility in contrast to the ruggedness and heaviness of the material it is created from, ie. bronze. Another contrast occurs between the ribbed exterior and the polished surface of the interior.
Michael Le Grand is a sculptor from Canberra, with a career spanning over 40 years. At Sculpture at Barangaroo his career is being celebrated with a mini retrospective including six outdoor sculptures dating from 2009-2016, Anaconda, Buttress, Bollard II, Goshu, Plunge and Headrest.
These works are all welded steel sculptures and have been chosen for their translatability. While the material may look inert and rigid, the artist hopes to convey a sense of movement in his work. His selection of colour is also critically important to the visual impact of the work.
In contrast to the welded steel artworks of Michael Le Grand is the work of the Cave Urban Collective. If you remember the giant bamboo sphere titled "The Golden Hour" from Bondi's Sculpture by the Sea 2016, then you will be familiar with the work of these artists. Through the use of bamboo, the Cave Urban Collective explores the intersection between art and architecture.
Bower was created by Cave Urban specifically for this site. The installation uses bamboo, charcoal and steel to create a striking temporary shelter on the Stargazer Lawn. From one perspective Bower resembles an enclosed box, however from the other side an amazing and intricately woven spherical nest is revealed. Visitors are invited to enter the bower and experience this temporary shelter and how it connects with the landscape.
Adam King is an Aboriginal artist from the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative. He has created Faces of Darug, a project to show Darug people (one of the original clans of the Sydney region) in the same place, at once, at the same time.
The work incorporates 54 faces of real Darug people, of all ages, in profile. It also includes the face of the late Chris Bourke, a puppeteer and staunch advocate of youth welfare, as well as one of her puppets. Visitors can walk through and experience the tribe meeting together in this sculpture which is made from steel.
Tereasa Trevor is another Aboriginal artist involved in the exhibition. Her work, 11 Ships , refers to the First Fleet and consists of 11 masts, each displaying three sails. The work recognises the impact of the First Fleet on the Aboriginal people who have lived in Australia for 65 000 years. The sails are painted with totems by members of various Aboriginal communities, while the ship as a whole represents the notion of tribe.
Nicole Monks is an artist of Wajarri Yamatji, Dutch and English heritage. In her work Terra Omnia, she aims to subvert the misconception of Australia as nobody's land "Terra Nullius". Terra Omnia, meaning land of everything, is an ephemeral participatory sculpture composed of native flora such as wildflowers, foliage, nuts and seeds.
This work is a recognition that Aboriginal people have lived and thrived in Australia for over 65 000 years, with the land providing everything that they needed. Situated above the Wulugal Walk, the community will be invited to place native flora onto the canvas throughout the exhibition period. In this way the audience can connect with the narrative of the installation. It will be interesting to see how this work progresses throughout the two week exhibition period.
Mental Convolution by Elyssa Sykes-Smith is a site specific installation intended to create a physical manifestation of "a labyrinth of the mind". Whilst still under construction when I visited, once completed audiences will be invited to enter and weave their way through the space.
Situated at the entrance to the Cutaway Christopher Langton's installation, Untitled (Shoe), is designed to attract attention through its scale and bright colours, and it certainly can't be missed. This outdoor inflatable has been hand sewn and encourages the visitor to reflect on the imprint they are leaving on the planet.
In 2016 over 150 000 people attended the exhibition and it is expected that the visitor figures for this year will be greater.
The exhibition is free and is open to the public between 8am and 6pm daily during the 16 day period. Visitors are invited to enjoy and explore the sculpture trail and the park at their own pace. For a map of the sculpture trail please click here.
When visiting Barangaroo Reserve public transport is recommended and the closest train stations are Circular Quay and Wynyard. It takes around 10 - 15 minutes to walk from either of these stations. For more information about getting there click here.
With a stunning and easily accessible location on Sydney Harbour there is no better place to enjoy some unique and intriguing works of art. But don't take my word for it, get out there and experience it for yourself.