Aboriginal artwork adorns Central Station ventilation buildings
Eagle-eyed customers may have noticed the newly constructed ventilation buildings at Central Station and the colourful brickwork covering it.
The ventilation buildings contain the equipment and vents required to circulate fresh air through the station box, and in the case of a fire, remove smoke from the metro tunnels.
The two buildings on Platform 14 feature bricks with a multicoloured artwork called ‘Time Travellers’, designed by renowned Bundjalung Artist Dr Bronwyn Bancroft and chosen for its contemporary representation of Connection to Country.
The large-scale piece represents a visual connection between the past and the present. The DNA and serpentine-like imagery is symbolic of one of the many creation stories that have been handed down over time for over 60,000 years.
“My vision is to honour the fallen who have returned to the earth, and the layers of ancestors that lie under the contemporary world of Sydney,” Dr Bancroft explained in her artwork statement.
“To visualise tribes and clans of people from the Gadigal area paddling their canoes across the corridors of time is an epic image. Acknowledgement of that time in our shared history has been paramount to me in creating this work.”
After Dr Bancroft had finished painting Time Travellers as an acrylic on canvas, the next challenge was to transfer it onto the brickwork.
A brick inlay system was used to create the look and feel of a traditional brick facade with all the efficiencies and durability of precast concrete. Each brick was then individually placed across 216 precast panels.
Once finished, the panels were transported from Newcastle to Central Station for installation and were lifted into place using a single 135-tonne crane, using a ‘dual lift and rotate’ methodology.
This artwork is part of Sydney Metro’s larger public art program, which will see Sydney Metro City & Southwest stations feature prominent art pieces once services start through the CBD in 2024.
Sydney Metro stations improve the precincts they serve, creating better connections, economic opportunity and improved placemaking.
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