Curated by Carriageworks and commissioned by Mirvac, the South Eveleigh Public Art initiative aims to engage with the rich histories of Eveleigh and Redfern and create distinctive contemporary urban Sydney experiences. More works to be announced.
Sitting on Gadigal country, South Eveleigh has a long and continuing connection with the local indigenous community. Located on the fringe of Sydney’s CBD, South Eveleigh is a short walk from Redfern Station and bounded by the suburbs of Darlington, Alexandria, Redfern, Erskineville and Newtown. It is located opposite the train tracks to Carriageworks but not directly accessible to our precinct.
Chris Fox: Interchange Pavillion
Australian artist and architect Chris Fox has reimagined Sydney’s railway lines to create a major new sculptural landmark inviting visitors to reflect on the various histories of the South Eveleigh site, as well as come together before diverging into their own future journeys. Fox drew inspiration from the precinct’s rail history combining over 250 metres of stainless steel ground rails, 15 tonnes of robotically moulded glass reinforced concrete and 1400 pieces of router cut hardwood. The arching architectural forms of Interchange Pavilion reference the geometry of a railroad switch; the point at which a train can change its course, moving from one trajectory to another. The pavilion is a meeting place where tracks converge, a place of interchange where paths cross. Read more.
Nell & Cave Urban: Eveleigh Treehouse Eveleigh Treehouse responds to the history and character of the site’s former incarnation as the Eveleigh Railway Workshops. This place has a personal connection for Nell, whose great-grandfather worked as a boilermaker from 1931-1952. Built from steel and recycled hardwood, the two drop-like forms of the treehouses are whimsical and anthropomorphic, each bearing a face, spirit and personality. They speak to something universal to the human psyche – a yearning for nature and joy, protection and play. Directly referencing the architecture of the Locomotive Workshop buildings of South Eveleigh and Carriageworks, it is as if the treehouses have come to life, stood up on their steel legs and walked over to where they stand today, nestled in the gum trees of Eveleigh Green. Their bodies are made from thousands of forged steel gum leaves made on-site by hundreds of volunteers in a series of community forging workshops led by Eveleigh Works. Situated on Gadigal land, Eveleigh Treehouse is conceived as a site of belonging for adults and children alike, a retreat from the bustle of our daily lives.
Jonathan Jones: untitled (red gum slabs) untitled (red gum slabs) responds directly to Eveleigh’s railway history and Aboriginal heritage. The timber and railway industries historically employed Aboriginal people, with the railway providing the physical means for many Aboriginal people to come to Sydney in search of a better life. In this way the railway network has been an important network for many Aboriginal people, connecting the city and the country. The old red gum slabs that Jonathan Jones has sourced were originally harvested in the Koondrook/Barham region on the Murray River, some 100 years ago. The placement of the slabs echoes the railway lines while their natural shapes talk to the internal architectural treatment of the building, reminding us of our past. This work was co-curated by Hetti Perkins.
Nell: Happy Rain
Over more than two decades, Sydney based artist Nell has fashioned a unique body of work concerned with the human condition. Expressed with elegant simplicity, Nell’s work is a curious enquiry into the complexities of life and death, day and night, yin and yang, sun and rain, happy and sad. Installed on the façade of Yerrabingin House, Happy Rain utilises the image of a smiling cloud emitting raindrops. This simple and universally recognisable imagery, rendered with the immediacy of an emoticon, invites viewers to reflect on the relationship between weather, environment and mood, as well as the constancy of the natural world within and around our built environments. The use of a smile in a form often reserved for sadness, gives a sense of optimism and hope – a perfect complement to Nell’s Eveleigh Treehouse, situated across the way on Eveleigh Green.