Art & About – a public art festival produced by the City of Sydney Events Unit is celebrating the fifth instalment in ten years of Laneway Art. Street art is by nature political – enabling a sense of personal existence and ownership of public space. The idea of Laneway Art is to take a wander and discover seven projects by Australian and International artists and curators as the city transforms into a canvas, to create a living gallery on the streets to make Sydneysiders stop, think, laugh or smile. The major projects for 2011 are by Brook Andrew, Heidi Axelsen, Hugo Moline, Adriano Pupilli, Isidro Blasco, Barry McGee, Emma Pike, Sarah Langdon, Rebar, Magda Sayeg, Streetware 2.
Brook Andrew’s work takes the shape of a large inflated PVC donut floating high above the street, decorated with a black and white matrix of Wiradjuri design. The shape references ancient European and Indigenous depictions of time travel and healing, and the popular contemporary notion of a ‘pie in the sky’.
Heidi Axelsen, Hugo Moline and Adriano Pupilli’s peri(pheral) scopes – looking-over to the overlooked employs rogue ductwork grafted onto the air-con shafts and drainpipes of Skittle Lane to become peri(pheral)scopes: giant optical devices looking out to Sydney’s western edge.
Streetware selected graff artists and collectives – YOK, Beastman, Numskull, Jumbo + Zap, Shannon Crees, Claire+Mie Nakazawa, Brett Chan, Penelope Cain, Jason Wing, Georgia Perry, Daniel Tanner – who were invited to install temporary artworks in the City’s southern laneways.
Emma Pike and Sarah Langdon’s The Amazing Rolling Picture Show consists of 12 video installations in intimate spaces in Sydney projected via portable projection systems on two rickshaw viewing screens.
In addition to the public art programme there is a fesival of music, exhibitions and events. A gigantic aerial net installation, Tsunami, by American artist Janet Echelman.is part of the Powerhouse Museum’s Love Lace exhibition. Tsunami is inspired by the events that unfolded following the 2010 Chile earthquake. Using a 3D model of the 2010 tsunami, and software to create an outline of the model’s higher amplitude area, Echelman sculptural form of high tensile machine-knotted mesh combines the craft practice of traditional netting with cutting-edge technology to create a sculpture that moves in the wind and is illuminated by changing coloured lights.
Michael Landy’s international project, Acts of Kindness, in partnership with the 24th Kaldor Public Art Project for Art & About, investigates the meaning of kindness in today’s fast-paced world, focusing on the simple everyday gestures of compassion and generosity that occur throughout the city streets and often go unnoticed. Stories of kindness have been collected from people across Sydney to form a 13-metre installation, mapping the and indicating the 200 stories of kindness within the Sydney CBD.
Images: 1. Michael Landy. Acts of Kindness. 2. Magda Sayeg. Sussex Lane. 3. Rebar. Bubbleway. 4. Isidro Blasco. Deconstructing Ways. 5. Brook Andrew. Donut. 6. Heidi Axelsen, Hugo Moline and Adriano Pupilli. peri(pheral)scopes: looking-over to the over-looked. 7. Numskull. 8. Jason Wing. Urban Jungle. 9. Janet Echelman.Tsunami.