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  • Dec 23, 2019

Jonathan Jones to reveal public installation in Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks

JONATHAN JONES will present a new public installation in the courtyard of Sydney’s

A public installation by Sydney-based artist Jonathan Jones will be presented from February 21 until March 15, 2020, as part of Sydney’s Art & About program, the City of Sydney and Sydney Living Museums announced on December 21 in a joint statement. The work will take up the 2,500-square-meter courtyard of the city’s Hyde Park Barracks, marking the reopening of the museum following one year of renovations. 

The installation, untitled (maraong manaóuwi), draws from the artist’s Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi heritage and will be composed of more than 2,000 repetitions of maraong manaóuwi (emu footprint) and English broad arrow symbols, rendered with white and red gravel from Wiradjuri Country in central New South Wales. The combination of the emu footprint—an important motif signaling fatherhood to many Indigenous communities—with a symbol of British colonialism highlights different narratives concerning Australia’s history, and examines cultural relations. Visitors will be invited to walk over the installation, eroding it through a performative process that questions individual roles in the course of history as well as drawing attention to the need for the preservation of heritage sites.

Jones also used repeated Indigenous motifs in his ground-based installation barrangal dyara (skin and bones) (2016) at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Comprising 15,000 shields made out of gypsum—often used in Indigenous mourning rites—the work references the 1882 fire that destroyed the Indigenous artefacts housed in the Garden Palace, which stood in the Botanic Gardens. 

The artist’s works, of diverse media, have been exhibited in Australia and abroad, including at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales, Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Australia at Canberra, Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada, and the Palazzo delle Papesse Contemporary Art Centre in Siena.

Lauren Long is ArtAsiaPacific’s news and web editor.

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