Discover the city's largest canvas for artistic expression
Where art and culture meet the harbour
Public art in any form, be it sculpture, murals, paintings or other installations, helps define the culture of a city. Classic masterpieces such as the Trevi Fountain in Rome, or contemporary sculptures like Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate in Chicago play a significant role in communicating the values, ideas and beliefs of a city and its people. Public art is created for all to enjoy. It starts conversations and sometimes stimulates debate. Most importantly of all, it can reflect where a community or culture has been, and where it’s going.
On completion, Barangaroo will be home to the highest concentration of public art in the city. An investment of over $40 million has been made for nine unique artworks throughout Barangaroo, produced by local and international artists, with the first piece already in construction and preparing for installation.
All the art within the neighbourhood will connect the present day with the site’s historical, cultural or natural identity, stepping us through our earliest past on our journey to today. Naturally, a number of works by key Aboriginal artists are proposed to marry the significance of modern day Barangaroo the beginnings of this special land.
One of the first to appear is a sculptural installation on the ‘Alexander’ residential building that sits on Wulugul Walk. Created by local Bidjigal/Eora elder and senior artist Aunty Esme Timbery and Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, the work, which will adorn the southern façade of the building, speaks directly to the traditional practice of shell work in this region.
Local Sydney shell workers from the Aboriginal community of La Perouse are renowned for creating artworks made from locally sourced shells, including jewellery boxes, brooches and shell shaped Sydney Harbour Bridges. The shell working movement, which Aunty Esme Timbery is part of, highlights an enduring connection to country, and played a significant role in the autonomy of traditional Eora owners.
Historically, Sydney’s rich coastal environment supplied Eora with an abundance of food such as shellfish. Over countless generations and meals, discarded shells formed large mounds, or middens, along Sydney’s foreshore. In this way, this artwork can be seen as a continuation of traditional knowledge and connection to country, while creating a locally relevant icon that will help define the space and shape people’s understanding of the site.
The Streets of Barangaroo is set to become a feast for all the senses - inspiring the mind, feeding the soul and satisfying our thirst for discovery and culture through Australia’s most highly-anticipated public art projects.