Sculpture at Barangaroo

Sculpture at Barangaroo, Margarita Sampson, The Grove 2014 photo by M SchofieldThe Barangaroo Delivery Authority will present a major new sculpture event, Sculpture at Barangaroo at Sydney’s spectacular new Harbour foreshore park, Barangaroo Reserve from 6 – 21 August 2016.

Free to the public, the temporary exhibition is the first of its kind to be held at Barangaroo Reserve and will transform the six-hectare headland reserve into an open-air sculpture park to capture the imagination of Sydney and its visitors.

Showcasing 14 outdoor artworks including eight new works and six existing works that were selected specifically for Sculpture at Barangaroo, the exhibition features a stellar line-up of 15 Australian artists, including senior, established, emerging and Aboriginal artists.

Exhibiting artists include: Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy, Marley Dawson, Lucy Humphrey, Ron Robertson-Swann OAM, Margarita Sampson, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Yasmin Smith, Marcus Tatton, Ken Unsworth AM, Sally Kidall, Garaywaa Murnawaraga (The Milky Way Sisters: Lyndsay Urquhart, Emily Nichol and Tereasa Trevor, with contributors), and Aunty Deidre Martin with collaborators.

Sculpture at Barangaroo exhibition highlights include:

Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy, Banana Republic, 2016
A six-metre shipping container has been adapted to include a large window on one side, two doors, inner plywood cladding, a wooden fire place, a viewing bench, fire extinguishers, fire alarms and a pile of coal. The creators are award-winning Sydney artists who’ve exhibited internationally. The container represents globalisation, trade, economy and consumption – all part of the former cargo terminal’s history. And it’s an artwork you can enter!

Deidre Martin, Bugiya Naway Buradja (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow), 2016
Born in the NSW country town of Narranderra, Martin, a Yuin woman, is passionate about sharing her culture through bush tucker tours and school workshops. She’s also an accomplished artist. Her large scale weaving project depicts a Nawi canoe as would have been used by Barangaroo. With traditional techniques but employing contemporary materials, Martin has called on other Aboriginal master crafters including wood carvers to create a scene that tells the story of local women’s survival, fishing, ecology, sustainability and cultural practices. The sculpture is so big it can be seen across the harbour.

Garaywaa Murnawaraga (The Milky Way Daughter, with contributors), Barangaroo Dreaming, 2016
Sure to be a favourite with visitors, this two-metre high sculpture represents a crinoline – a stiffened or hooped petticoat that was worn at the time of early European settlement to make a long skirt stand out. Its eight layers – representing eight generations – will be made up of shell art, woven lace, reed weavings, possum skins and feathers covered in white ochre. Each layer has a different meaning. The artists have been inspired by Barangaroo, the powerful Cammeraygal woman after whom our place is named.  It’s said that she once rejected the gift of an elegant European skirt, preferring to focus on her skill as a fisherwoman. The artists will hold workshops to teach the different skills used to construct the crinoline.

Margarita Sampson, The Grove, 2014
The two pieces in this work are part of series exploring our vanishing relationship with nature, shelter and community. It’s easy to see how her Norfolk Island background has influenced Margarita Sampson’s style. Each work resembles a pod, fruit, dwelling or tree with branches and antlers extending from the top. Constructed from wood, the pear-shaped works incline towards each other. Clad in red cedar oiled and weather-proofed shingles, they feature a small opening on one side lined with layers of felt suggesting shelter.

Ron Robertson-Swann OAM, Weighty Matters, 2013 / Tony’s Tower II, 2014 / Campagna, 1972
A sculptor, teacher and advocate for the arts, Ron Robertson-Swann worked as an assistant to Henry Moore for several years. He has won several awards including an Order of Australia. In addition to his work in sculpture, he has produced many paintings and is represented in all major public Australian collections. Weighty Matters is made up of three large unrelated metal works that he created over 40 years.

Marcus Tatton, Empirical View, 2016
New Zealand born but based in Tasmania, Marcus Tatton  is a public space sculptor who looks to the natural and non-natural environment for inspiration. This unusual new work comes in four parts. A seven-metre high chimney, a four-metre high window and a stove built around a fig tree and a campsite are all made from firewood. Each is placed a little distance apart. Close inspection shows them to be not quite what one might expect. The open window, for example, appears to flap in the harbour breeze. It’s actually fixed in place. The view from one side to the water shows a natural coastline. Viewed from the opposite direction we see a 21st Century cityscape.

Sculpture at Barangaroo is presented in partnership with Sculpture by the Sea – which has been delighting Sydney with its outdoor exhibitions along the Bondi coastal walk for almost 20 years, and runs 6 – 21 August 2016. A series of free talks by exhibiting artists will be held outdoors at Barangaroo Reserve among the sculptures on weekends during the event. For more information, visit for details.

Image: Margarita Sampson, The Grove 2014 – photo by M Schofield