A major new public pavilion and sculptural landmark by Australian artist and architect Chris Fox will be unveiled this August 2020 in the heart of South Eveleigh's revitalised Village Square in Sydney.
The multi-award winning Sydney artist, Founder and Director of Studio Chris Fox and Senior Lecturer in Art Processes and Architecture at the University of Sydney, creates large-scale public art installations that interrogate the conceptual and material boundaries between art and architecture. Fox is renowned for transforming the historic 1930's wooden escalators from the heritage-listed Wynyard station into the celebrated artwork Interloop, a major fifty metre loop suspended above the York Street escalators.
For Interchange Pavilion, a major new commission by Mirvac and its consortium partners for South Eveleigh, Fox drew inspiration from the precinct's rail history combining over 250 metres of stainless steel ground rails, 15 tonnes of glass reinforced concrete and 2100 metres of timber. This unique material will be supported by a 14 tonne digitally fabricated aluminum structure made up of 1600 pieces to create a 350 square-metre public art installation. The cusping architectural forms of Interchange Pavilion reference the geometry of a railroad switch: the point at which the train tracks arc in a new direction and change their course. The rail lines transmitted through the 'switch' define tectonic connections between the Sydney rail network and the South Eveleigh site.
Artist Chris Fox said: "Interchange Pavilion is inspired by the iconic geometries of the meeting point between two train tracks. It will be a space for the convergence of people, an opportunity to come together before diverging along our own unique journeys. The work also references the diverse and complex histories of the Eveleigh Rail Yards and the many stories that have occurred at this unique site."
William Walker, Project Director at Mirvac said: "At South Eveleigh we are delivering an activated and engaging precinct for local residents, workers and the wider community. The public art strategy is a key component in achieving this vision, with pieces like Chris' encouraging the community to explore the precinct and piquing curiosity about the site's unique history. We are looking forward to the completion of Interchange Pavilion, as the extraordinary piece will create a focal point for the Village Square and a functional amphitheatre for events. We are also progressing with the final artworks for the site and construction on the wider South Eveleigh precinct."
Carriageworks Director of Programs and Curator of Interchange Pavilion, Daniel Mudie Cunningham, said: "Chris Fox has developed an iconic landmark for Sydney located in the heart of South Eveleigh's Village Square. Sensitive to the industrious heritage and history of the area, Interchange Pavilion takes the rail tracks as its inspiration to consider the symbolism of a network that plots our pathway across the landscape. Carriageworks is proud to partner with Mirvac to deliver ambitious and exceptional public art that enhances community experience for the wider precinct".
Interchange Pavilion will be the sculptural landmark of the wider contemporary public art program at South Eveleigh facilitated by Mirvac and curated by Carriageworks. Mirvac and its consortium partners AMP Capital and Sunsuper have focused on building a public art program at the new community precinct including sculptural and botanical interventions, landmarks and meeting places created by a number of local artists.
Public art works that form part of the wider South Eveleigh precinct include a site-specific artwork by Jonathan Jones located in the Lobby of the Axle Building. Untitled (red gum slabs) also responds to South Eveleigh's rail history, proximity to the railway network, as well as its local and state Indigenous heritage. The old red gum slabs used in this artwork were originally harvested in the Koondrook/Barham region on the Murray River, some over 100 years ago.
Visual artist Nell has created two works for the precinct, Eveleigh Treehouse created in collaboration with Cave Urban, consisting of a series of interconnected pods that capture the essence of what adults remember tree houses to be, a place for imagination, observation and retreat; and Happy Rain, a large-scale smiling cloud created from LED lighting attached to the exterior of Yerrabingin House (Building 3).