Green Square's Getting Two Brand New Public Artworks by Australian Artists

An entire city on an actual vintage plane and an LED weather forecaster you can use to plan your picnics.
Jasmine Crittenden
Published on July 13, 2016

For about 18 months now, the City of Sydney has been promising an epic public art program for Green Square. Well, it wasn't a hollow proposal — we can now give you the lowdown on some of the details. For a start, the precinct's futuristic, architect-designed library will be scoring two brand new works by Aussies, selected from 90+ submissions.

The first is Cloud Nation by Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro. These two geniuses have tracked down a vintage Beechcraft Travel Air plane and will be suspending it mid-air. But, before it leaves their trusty hands, they'll be covering its exterior with a teeny-tiny miniature world. Think a recreation of Laputa Island from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. You'll be able to look from a distance or get up close, thanks to onsite binoculars.

"As well as promoting the library space as a place of imagination and knowledge, the idea behind a floating island that is an airplane also draws inspiration from the wave of immigrants that came to Australia in the latter half of the 20th century," say artists Claire and Sean. "This cultural exchange was, and still is, made possible by the use of air travel. Cloud Nation takes that idea of the inner homeland that people carry inside themselves and turns it into a fantastic vision."

At the same time, Sydney's Michael Thomas Hill and Indigo Hanlee (Lightwell) will be installing their High Water, in the library's external public plaza. It's a mammoth-sized LED display of local weather patterns and tidal information, fed by live data. An interface will help you to understand what you're seeing. So, you'll be able to stand in Green Square and decide whether or not a harbourside picnic is a good idea without going anywhere.

"Turning what is accessible but often intangible data into moving water colours, this artwork becomes its own visual language for our changing environment," says Michael and Indigo.

On top of the library, the 278-hectare Green Square development includes a creative hub, an aquatic and childcare centre, and more than 15 new parks and open spaces. The artworks will be ready for your perusal in early 2018.

Published on July 13, 2016 by Jasmine Crittenden
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