Friday, 27 January 2012

Museum of Sydney, Edge of the Trees

"Edge of the Trees" is a permanent sculpture at First Government House Place, the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney. It was commissioned especially for this site in 1995 and created by Janet Laurence and Fiona Foley, an indigenous artist and a non-indigenous artist, working together. It evokes the cultural and physical history of the site, before and after 1788, when contact and colonisation took place. The name of the sculpture comes from the 1985 essay by historian Rhys Jones: "…the 'discoverer' struggling through the surf were met on the beaches by other people looking at them from the edge of the trees." It consists of 29 large pillars of sandstone, wood and steel, which correspond to the 29 Aboriginal clans from around Sydney. The materials have been recycled from lost buildings in the city with historical references carved, burnt or engraved upon them and various artefacts embedded in windows within. When you walk amongst the pillars, you can hear a soundscape of indigenous voices reciting the names of places in the Sydney region.

18 comments:

  1. Jim, this is a great piece I remember seeing it. Thanks for all the info.

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  2. indeed, a great piece! I would really like to see this with my own eyes. till then, your photo does a really great job in showing me and the others a bit of the artistic side of your city!

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  3. Oh I will never forget walking among those "trees" and hearing the voices (of the soundscape). Very powerful in such a quiet way.

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  4. Great picture form Sydney!
    My photo today is also from Sydney!
    I wish you a Happy Friday!

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  5. What a terrific place, Jim! It does indeed look like a very powerful place that I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing the history as well as your wonderful capture.

    Sylvia

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  6. Great sculpture - hope they are solidly build and don't fall down unexpectedly like the B of the Bang in Manchester that was eventually dismantled.

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  7. Nice one, Jim. I like the angle here with the parallels and uprights of the sculpture echoed by the building.
    Have a good weekend!

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  8. Gerald, a felled B of the Bang. Now that's sound like a fascinating story.

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  9. I can't believe I've not been to see this Jim, it's definitely a must for next trip. It looks like a very unique sculpture.

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