Barangaroo’s first Artistic Associates appointed

29 Apr 2016

The first public art commission under Barangaroo’s Artistic Associates Program has been awarded to renowned multi-media artists and curators Genevieve Grieves and Amanda Jane Reynolds.

The Artistic Associates Program is a multi-disciplinary artist-in-residence program designed to capture moments in time through the Barangaroo project and to deepen the experience of Barangaroo. Artistic Associates will develop new works, provide specialist advice, facilitate professional development, or offer studio opportunities at Barangaroo.

Grieves and Reynolds are highly respected and accomplished Aboriginal artists and creative producers whose process is deeply consultative. They will develop a moving image artwork that celebrates Barangaroo as home to the world’s oldest living culture and also as a place that presents contemporary Indigenous perspectives.

Grieves and Reynolds are Aboriginal artists who will collaborate on a year-long project to deliver a suite of short films that will be accessible to visitors to Barangaroo Reserve through mobile devices.

Reynolds and Grieves will spend the next few months consulting members of the Cammeraygal and Gadigal communities in addition to those of the Eora nation, gathering stories and using historical documents such as Lieutenant Dawes’s diaries to begin creating a number of short films and multimedia works. It is anticipated these will be available on mobile devices from within the Reserve.

“We’re working towards creating something that’s accessible and engaging using technology and discovery – short films that will be all over the place that people can discover for themselves and have an intimate experience,” said Ms Grieves.

Gabrielle Trainor, Chair of the Authority’s Arts and Cultural Panel, said: “We are thrilled to have selected Genevieve Grieves and Amanda Jane Reynolds to be the first artistic associates at Barangaroo.

“From a very strong field, their response to our invitation stood out for its firm base in cultural engagement with Elders, our Indigenous communities and neighbours, and for the quality of the two major underpinning concepts. They resonate deeply with the strong presence of the Cammeraygal woman, Barangaroo, and the ancient history of the site.

“Over about the next year, their engagement process will itself determine the creation of a multi-media work. Amanda and Genevieve’s experience in producing moving and meaningful poetic pieces, reflecting Aboriginal traditions of storytelling and ceremony, makes us very excited about the months ahead.

“The results will be an outstanding celebration of the world’s oldest living culture combined with the new, as is the Barangaroo precinct itself,” said Trainor.

Artist, Amanda Reynolds said: “We are extremely excited to offer audiences who may never have had the opportunity to connect with Aboriginal culture the chance to learn about the site’s namesake. We’re inspired to bring the community together to honour the Old Lady, Barangaroo, as well as all the women who came after and those yet to come.”

The installation will grow and evolve through the process of community collaboration, as the artists respond to and capture the essence of the Barangaroo site and its place in Sydney.

Artist, Genevieve Grieves said: “Film and multi-media are such powerful mediums for furthering Aboriginal culture and strengthening cultural traditions, as storytelling through these channels allows us to capture people, sounds and light to convey the place of Country.”

The artists have previously collaborated on the highly-acclaimed First Peoples exhibition at the Melbourne Museum, which opened in November 2013 and was awarded the Best Exhibition and Best Project nationwide at the Museums and Galleries Australia National Awards in 2014. Read more about Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves and their previous workhere.

The commission is the first of a series of Artistic Associate appointments to be announced under the Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan, a strategic framework for the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and its development partners to guide the commissioning and management of public art across the precinct.

The first public art commission under the Plan was an art installation, Shell Wall 2015 by local Aboriginal artists Esme Timbery and Jonathan Jones, which is now in place on the exterior of the Alexander residential building on Wulugul Walk in Barangaroo South.

The awarding of this first Artistic Associates commission to Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves follows the Authority’s invitation for proposals from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers and multi-media artists for moving image or sound-based artworks to enable Barangaroo visitors and audiences to experience and appreciate the Aboriginal significance of the site, in its past, present and future settings.