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.
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.
Chris Fox: Interchange Pavillion The Interchange Pavilion is a space for the convergence of locals, people travelling across the state and interstate as well as internationals. It is a meeting place for the public: professionals, locals, travelers, creatives and students alike might come together in this space. From a point of confluence, individual paths diverge and track along their own unique journeys. Drawing inspiration from the precinct’s rail history, the cusping architectural forms of Interchange Pavilion reference the geometry of a railroad switch: the point at which the train tracks arc in a new direction and change their course. This project will be completed in May 2020.