Carriageworks and Mirvac today announced Sydney-based visual artist Nell, working together with design collective Cave Urban, has been commissioned to create a new public artwork at South Eveleigh, previously known as Australian Technology Park.
Eveleigh Tree House will consist of a series of interconnected pods created out of hundreds of individually forged steel gum leaves. The tree house pods will be nestled amongst the existing gum tress at Eveleigh Green located within South Eveleigh, a 14-hectare multi-use precinct being developed by Mirvac.
Eveleigh Tree House is part of an ongoing, broader public art program at South Eveleigh facilitated by Mirvac and its consortium partners AMP Capital and Sunsuper. The program has been curated by Carriageworks and will include sculptural and botanical interventions, landmarks and meeting places at South Eveleigh created by a number of local artists.
Nell was inspired by the history and character of the nearby Eveleigh Locomotive precinct and wanted to pay homage to the Gadigal land on which the site stands. The work also embodies a personal connection to the site for the artist, whose great-grandfather worked as a boilermaker at Eveleigh from 1931-1952.
‘The Tree House will capture the essence of what we as adults remember tree houses to be —a place of imagination, observation and retreat from the world,’ explained Nell.
Carriageworks Director of Programs and the curator of the South Eveleigh Public Art Strategy, Daniel Mudie Cunningham said: ‘Nell and Cave Urban’s Tree House provides a new destination and place of contemplation on Eveleigh Green that references the history and character of the Eveleigh railway area in its design and material.’
A series of public workshops are being held on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December inviting participants to help forge – and stamp their initials on the back of – individual steel gum leaves that will be added to the bodies of the Tree House.
Mirvac Project Director, William Walker said: ‘Mirvac is committed to delivering activated and engaging public spaces for local residents and the wider Sydney community to enjoy at South Eveleigh. Art at the site will play a crucial role in this, sparking conversations, imagination and genuine connections.
“The range of functional and symbolic projects were selected by a panel of stakeholders from our partners on the site and the local area, including artists, elders and representatives from Redfern, Eveleigh and Waterloo. The works have been chosen to reflect the past, present and the future of this growing and diverse community.’
Carriageworks and Mirvac have sought consultation from the Aboriginal Land Council and Indigenous artists Hetti Perkins and Jonathan Jones have advised on all public art projects for the precinct.
Nell has conceived a second public art work for the precinct, Happy Rain, which takes the form of a large-scale smiling cloud wall work created from LED lighting attached to the exterior of a high-rise building.
Artist Nell explained: ‘This simple and universally recognisable imagery 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. They reference that which has been eternal to this place – the weather and natural environment, the continuous elements that link Eveleigh of the future with the land of its past.’
The two public art works are scheduled to be installed in 2019. Further announcements of artists commissioned to create work for the precinct will be announced in the new year.
Plans for the precinct will include a wider public art program, with additional site-specific public works to be announced in 2019.
ABOUT NELL: In creating her dramatic, idiosyncratic works Nell draws on an eclectic selection of material, ranging from the sacred to the popular. Key themes across her practice include Buddhist philosophy, rock ‘n’ roll, mortality, sex, rebirth and more. Across two decades, Nell’s work has been included in over 250 exhibitions including a curated museum survey at Shepparton Art Museum (2016). Nell has exhibited regularly at contemporary, university, regional and state galleries in Australia, including Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2008, 2014, 2016) and presented solo exhibitions at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018), and at STATION, Melbourne (2013, 2015, 2017). Selected recent exhibitions include The National: New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (2017) Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia (2016) WORDS + CROSSES, Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand (2016) BLACK’n’WHITE at PS Project Space, Amsterdam (2015) and Let There Be Robe, MONA FOMA, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart (2012). Nell has collaborated with Romance Was Born at the National Gallery of Victoria (2014) and on The Oracle collection (2011 – 12). Nell studied at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, The University of California, Los Angeles and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris and has undertaken residences in Beijing and Rome.
ABOUT CAVE URBAN: Cave Urban is a multidisciplinary arts studio formed by artists, architects and sculptors. Founded in 2010 to investigate bamboo lightweight structures and their relevance to contemporary design, Cave Urban has developed into a practice that explores the intersection between art and architecture. The studio prioritizes community engagement and the utilization of natural, local and recycled materials as key components of any project. Cave Urban was awarded the People’s Choice at 2012 Sculpture By The Sea in Bondi for their wind-driven sound installation “Mengenang”. In 2015 Cave Urban erected a 24m high tower of bamboo and steel in Circular Quay for Sydney City Council’s Art & About exhibition. Cave Urban has collaborated with a number of organisations including MONA, Clemenger,Australian National Botanic Gardnes, City of Sydney, Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens, Sculpture By The Sea, Opera Australia, Sydney Opera House, Brisbane Festival, UTS, QUT, UTAS, Woodford Folk Federation, Taichung Bamboo arts park, Taiwan and Setouchi triennial, Shodoshima, Japan.
ABOUT CARRIAGEWORKS: Carriageworks presents a contemporary multi-arts program that engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. The Carriageworks artistic program is ambitious, risk taking and unrelenting in its support of artists. Carriageworks is a cultural facility of the NSW Government and is supported by Arts NSW. The Carriageworks program can be viewed at www.carriageworks.com.au
ABOUT MIRVAC: Mirvac is a leading Australian property group, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”). Mirvac’s investment portfolio has interests in office, retail and industrial assets, while its development business has exposure to both residential and commercial projects. With over 45 years of experience, Mirvac has an unmatched reputation for delivering quality products and services across all of the sectors in which it operates.