Featuring large-scale drawings and photographs, and a multichannel video installation, the exhibition invites visitors to reimagine the built environment underneath Sydney’s CBD and contemplate the passing of time, in both human and geological scales.
Curator, Claire Taylor explains that the installation is created to be an immersive experience for viewers.
The installation draws the viewer into an enveloping darkness from which details of tunnels and chambers beneath the city are glimpsed in torchlight.
“The imagery reveals ethereal spaces that exist just beyond the brightly-lit, bustling, familiar city, providing visitors with an opportunity to slow down, reflect and be immersed within a subterranean landscape where there is a very different sense of time.”
All the imagery and audio in the multichannel video installation are from site recordings the artists made between 2016 and 2019 in disused tunnels that connect to St. James station, where Julia Davis and Lisa Jones worked in torchlight with architectural photographer Richard Glover and sound engineer Derek Allan.
Thresholds reveals material histories of abandoned infrastructure sites. Once vital to the
evolving city, successively repurposed and now uninhabited, these sites appear in a state of suspended animation, as if waiting for the next phase of redevelopment.
This is a layer of the city now being reclaimed by the ecology, waterways and geology it lies within. The artists made the large-scale drawings in the exhibition by immersing sheets of paper in the flooded chambers of the old railway lines beneath the city. After leaving the paper submerged for 24 hours, the artists removed them and fixed the sediments that had accrued on the paper in that time.
The drawings register the actions of the artists and capture the materiality of that particular time and place in the underground chambers: accretions of rock dust, city pollution, and traces of thousands of journeys in the particulate brake dust and dirt from the trains passing through adjacent live tunnels.
21 January – 19 February 2021
Tin Sheds Gallery | School of Architecture, Design & Planning
148 City Rd, Darlington
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This work was made possible with the support of The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, Sydney Trains and GREYSPACE.