“A city is the greatest work of art possible” Lloyd Rees
What I did on my summer holiday. Did you ever write that for school?
I went for a holiday in Sydney. I wanted to have a holiday and get away from my work but when your work involves public art, even walking around the block can involve looking at a sculpture or street art. I did take a few photographs of some sculptures in Sydney.
I saw sculptures that I like; I loved the golden tree in Chinatown, Golden Water Mouth by Lin Li. I saw some sculpture that horrified me like the bronze sculpture of Governor Macquarie with its very large feet.
I can’t help explaining the differences between lost wax and sand casting when looking at the Robert Kippel sculpture at Circular Key. The Jason Wing alleyway in Chinatown brought back memories of seeing an exhibition by him in 2009. My wife asked me if I was thinking of writing a book about Sydney’s public sculpture, after my Sculptures of Melbourne.
People keep telling me that Melbourne is somehow special in its relationship to public sculpture and I just don’t buy that intercity rivalry. Admittedly Sydney did not have the year long “Yellow Peril” stupidity but it was just a stupid overblown Melbourne City Council dispute after all and not the end of civilisation. Sydney was less in need of landmark sculptures having both major architectural and physical landmarks.
I ran into the sculptor, Lis Johnson in the Art Gallery of NSW shop who was up in Sydney studying marble carving. She thought that Sydney was becoming more like Melbourne with the street art in the laneways along with small coffeeshops and bars.
There are a lot more public sculptures in Sydney these days. There is a similar historical trajectory as I trace in my book. And I have done the research on some of the sculptors like Akio Makigawa already. The street sculptor, Will Coles lives and works in Sydney; I could add interview with him instead of the one with Junky Projects.
Pipe dreams aside I have no immediate plans to write the companion book to my Sculptures of Melbourne because I don’t live in Sydney. About half of what I have earned from writing the book has come from walking tours and talks. Anyway the City of Sydney has a good website about its public art with walking tours.
February 10th, 2017 at 7:34 PM
Melbourne so sculpture!!!!!!! Sydney MMMM?????
February 10th, 2017 at 7:42 PM
Other cities will follow successful Melbourne’s examples of how to use public sculpture and Sydney looks like it going that way.
May 10th, 2021 at 10:07 PM
It’s been awhile since you wrote this but Sydney now has a great deal of public sculptures. I’m quite amazed and have completed most of the City of Sydney map. I’ve spent a bit of time in Melbourne too and really hope our street art scene leans in the Melbourne direction. It’s certainly picking up but we need more!!!! MOAR!!!
May 11th, 2021 at 10:55 AM
Yes, that is a very brief survey of what I happened upon. I haven’t had a chance to really look at Sydney’s public sculpture but installing more public art is an international trend and doubtless, there will be more especially in outer suburbs.