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Reimagining history

8 April 2022
New public art installation by Chris Fox unveiled
Chris Fox from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning has unveiled his newly commissioned installation, Immerge which reimagines a piece of history through the use of recycled components of the former Rozelle Tram Depot water tank.

Commissioned by Mirvac and City of Sydney, Chris Fox, who is a Senior Lecturer in Art Processes and Architecture at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning,  unveiled the public art installation at Harold Park in Sydney’s Inner West Forest Lodge. Immerge is a heritage interpretation artwork developed using the components of the former Rozelle Tram Depot water tank, with the form emerging beneath the surface and into the earth, holding ideas of decay, growth and renewal.

Previously sited nearby, within what is now Harold Park Tramsheds, the original structure consisted of 76 cast iron panels, configured in a modular unit system that stood 5m above the ground. Each panel weighs over 250kg, with the original water tank holding 10,000 gallons of water. Used as a reservoir for the Grinnell fire prevention sprinkler system, it saved the Depot from a fire in 1919.

Over time, the water tank has undergone microscopic changes in the form of rust, wear and tear. Studio Chris Fox has reimagined this piece of history, embodying change through the fracturing of its geometric form and revealing its underlying structure. The original geometry of the tank has been recalibrated, using computational tools to apply a series of forces that stretch, pull, and distort the structure.

The resulting artwork is an integrated visual marker. Its artistic form plunges viewers beneath the surface and into the earth, promoting ideas of decay, growth and renewal.

Designer Chris Fox said: “It would be great if people start to understand the history of the water tank, but also to think of it anew. Microscopic changes, rust, wear and tear, that have happened over its 100 years of use, have resulted in a distinct materiality that we really wanted to celebrate.”

“This heritage re-interpretation artwork allows the water tank to remain a meaningful part of the local community, extending the stories and physical presence of the landmark for future generations.”
Chris Fox

Mirvac General Manager of Residential Development NSW Toby Long said the artwork by Chris Fox completed Mirvac’s reimagining of the former paceway into a place valued and loved by the community: “We have taken great care to ensure Harold Park’s history and heritage is recognised in the many public spaces that have been created.

“Public art such as Immerge, that has relevance and meaning, enhances the sense of belonging that is so important to building strong, connected communities. Chris has captured the evolutionary nature of cities and reimagined it for the future.”

Immerge by Studio Chris Fox is available on public view at Harold Park in Sydney.

 

PROJECT CREDITS:

Studio Chris Fox Project Team: Chris Fox, Yuxiao Wang, Justin van Ryneveld, Srujan Vichare

Commissioned by Mirvac and City of Sydney

Engineered by Bollinger+Grohmann (Sascha Bohnenberger)

Steel Fabrication and Installation by Horne Art Studio

Groundworks by Diversified

Photography and Cinematography: Josh Raymond

Sally Quinn

Media Adviser

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