Moss Poetry Appears in Sydney’s Paddington Reservoir Gardens

The walls of Sydney's historic reservoir are currently playing host to obscurely profound pieces of moss poetry.

Madeleine Watts
Published on March 01, 2012

Sydneysiders have always liked writing obscurely profound things on the walls of the city. Sydney's the kind of city that breeds people like Arthur Stace, a reformed illiterate alcoholic who spent thirty-five years writing the word 'Eternity' in chalk all over the streets of Sydney in copperplate script, which can still be seen inside the bell of the GPO clock tower. And you still see street writing everywhere, from the scrawled messages on bus stops and railway underpasses, to the  'I have  a dream' mural on King Street and heartfelt declarations like 'hands held violently onto words that meant nothing' on the back of St Stephen's Church in Camperdown Memorial Park.

Now we can add to this list the moss poetry which has recently popped up in Sydney's own version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Paddington Reservoir Gardens. The walls of the reservoir are currently covered in growing poetry, as part of a typographic installation entitled ''Modern Day Mossages. Created from locally sourced mud and moss, the words and phrases have been contributed by emerging Sydney poets paying tribute to John Thompson, founder of the resident action group The Paddington Society, after whom one of the Reservoir's gardens is named after. The moss poem is the product of a collaboration by members of Popperbox, a collective of Sydney-based artists, designers, illustrators and software engineers, who have been making experimental and accessible pieces since their formation in 2007.

The installation aims to make you think about growth, nourishment, rejuvenation and the future, and was attached to the sandstone walls of the historic reservoir using a pungent mixture of heavy clay soil, beer and yoghurt. The artists are monitoring the growth of the moss daily in the hopes that it will continue to grow, although that shouldn't be a problem given the deluge which appears to be sticking around for the rest of the month. Modern Day Mossages is a short-term installation, one of three projects commissioned by the City of Sydney for the Paddington Reservoir Gardens in 2012.

[Via D*Hub]

Published on March 01, 2012 by Madeleine Watts
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