Enter a surreal world where some of Sydney’s oldest trees come to life after dark – illuminated by the giant ghostly faces of the social activists, past and present, who have helped shape Hyde Park as we know it today.
From 21 September to 5 October, renowned Australian artist Craig Walsh will transform Hyde Park South with giant, dynamic 3D projections honouring the lesser-known individuals who have made their mark on the City’s biggest backyard, as part of Art & About Sydney’s Emergence
Focusing on the park’s history as a place of protest, Mr Walsh will explore the experiences of people who have taken part in anti-war, conscription and gay rights demonstrations over the past century. By interviewing those involved and referencing well-known protest songs, Mr Walsh will weave together tales of commitment, passion and social activism.
“Emergence is a stunning large-scale installation that will inspire the public to re-engage with Hyde Park’s colourful history,” Gill Minervini, Art & About Sydney’s Creative Director, said.
“Hyde Park is one of our city’s most iconic public spaces and has so many fascinating stories to tell, so we’re delighted to be able to bring it to life in such an original way for this year’s festival.
Over the past 200 years, Hyde Park has undergone many transformations, from traditional Aboriginal land to a racecourse and cricket ground. It has been witness to protests, parties, bare-knuckled boxing matches and even murders.
Co-presented by Art & About Sydney and the Australian Museum, Emergence will see Craig Walsh team up with visual designer Steven Thomasson to create three 10-metre-high projections
“These projections will be illuminated onto trees, creating an eerie reminder of the park’s past,” Mr Walsh said.
“As the branches sway, the faces of these relatively unknown individuals will sit alongside the grand monuments that permanently occupy the park to remind us that every individual has a story to tell.”
Working across a variety of art forms, Craig Walsh has made his name through both hybrid and site-specific projects. Through mediums including installation, sculpture, theatre and architecture, he explores the way in which contemporary art can be exhibited in alternative contexts.
His work has been shown at major national and international exhibitions, and he has just completed a two-year touring residency project titled Digital Odyssey.