NEWCASTLE-raised visual artist Jamie North will lead the creation a public artwork to be installed across a 225-metre square space at Worth Place, after winning a tender from Create NSW as part of the the city’s light rail project.
Mr North’s Borrowed Landscape concept was selected from a peer assessment process following the announcement of an EOI in July to construct an artwork using materials sourced from the light rail build.
Artists were asked to celebrate heritage sandstone blocks and steel rail tracks uncovered during early site works.
Mr North’s concept, which is consistent with his previous work, will use two large naturalistic stone blocks and galvanised steel bars to suspend groups of sandstone blocks in the air.
Two similar but smaller pieces with additional carved red-brick spheres will provide a tonal contrast to the sandstone and grey paving at the site.
Irrigated native plant communities will inhabit both the base and floating rock elements of the pieces to allow for seasonal flowering and an ever-changing, living sculpture.
“With the installation of this public art using material recovered during construction, Revitalising Newcastle is maintaining its commitment to transform the city centre without losing sight of the city’s historical legacy,” Anand Thomas, program director of the Newcastle light rail project, said.
“This exciting public art will help activate Newcastle West and provide the perfect spot to watch the light rail go by.”
Create NSW executive director for investment and engagement, Elizabeth Scott, said Borrowed Landscape will be installed prior to light rail operating in early 2019.
“Jamie North’s compelling vision is set to deliver an evocative installation that will resonate with the community passing through one of Newcastle’s most exciting emerging cultural hubs,” she said.
Mr North grew up in Newcastle and in recent years has exhibited at Newcastle’s The Lock-up (Slidings – 2017) as well as creating works for the 20th Biennale of Sydney (Succession – 2016), the National Gallery of Victoria (Rock Melt – 2015) and the Concrete exhibition in Istanbul (Spoils – 2015).