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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Sydney Just Scored a Lovely New Public Artwork by Tracey Emin

The tiny bird sculptures dotted around the city will remind you to slow down and think about loved ones, near and far.
By Libby Curran
March 22, 2018
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Sydney Just Scored a Lovely New Public Artwork by Tracey Emin

The tiny bird sculptures dotted around the city will remind you to slow down and think about loved ones, near and far.
By Libby Curran
March 22, 2018
  shares

Sydney's city centre has been overrun by birds — though they're not the usual kind. Rather, these dainty bronze bird statues gracing spots along Bridge and Grosvenor streets are part of the latest public work by acclaimed artist Tracey Emin.

The Distance of Your Heart, which was commissioned by the City of Sydney back in 2014 and unveiled by Lord Mayor Clover Moore for the City Art collection yesterday, features over 60 of the handmade sculptures, carefully placed atop doorways, awnings and poles around the CBD. A birdbath inscribed with the work's title forms a centrepiece in Macquarie Place.

Emin is perhaps best known for her work My Bed, which included items from her own bedroom, including dirty sheets, cigarette butts and condoms, but the message behind this work is much less controversial. It's about comfort — a kind of reflection on Australia's distance from the rest of the world and a little piece of hope for those who might be feeling homesick or detached.

"Sydney is big but the birds are small, tiny, delicate, fragile — just like we are as human beings," Emin explained. "Sometimes we can feel lost and sad, but the sight of a bird can give us hope."

The Lord Mayor said that "with its underlying concept of global migration and travel, this artwork will particularly resonate with the many Sydney residents born overseas and the millions of visitors who visit our shores each year".

The Distance of Your Heart is a permanent addition to Sydney's collection of public art — you can find the birds on Bridge and Grosvenor streets in the CBD.

Published on March 22, 2018 by Libby Curran

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