Australian artist Reko Rennie has completed his major site-specific contemporary art installation at Barangaroo South in Sydney’s CBD. The commanding work, titled AS THE CROW FLIES , is painted over buildings, hoardings and rooftops spanning a 1500 square-metre footprint – the equivalent size of a high-rise city building – and will remain in place for at least two years.
The large-scale, two-colour installation, in bright cobalt blue and neon pink, has been painted vertically and horizontally onto the exteriors and interiors of a buildings and hoardings in Barangaroo South, between International Tower Three and Hickson Road. The work extends into the entry and exit areas of the main car park and covers rooftops, making the pop-aesthetic inspired installation clearly visible from nearby office towers.
Rennie based the work around the fallen feather of a crow, using this as a repeated motif throughout, explaining: “The feathers mirror a congregation of people – a meeting place of diverse individuals, philosophies and histories – coming together, reflecting the hive of activity that is unfolding in the redevelopment of Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct.”
Rennie uses the fallen crow feather motif not only as a study into the relevance of existentialist thought in contemporary systems but as a marker of time; where a seemingly insignificant moment reveals a history of movement across space.
The feathers mirror a congregation of people – a meeting place of diverse individuals, philosophies and histories – come together, reflecting the hive of activity that is unfolding in the redevelopment of Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct. . It is only through distant viewing that the feathers become recognisable as such, making it an immediately identifiable landmark for the surrounding towers that make up the expanding business district of the city footprint and beyond.
One of Australia’s most respected contemporary artists, Melbourne-based Rennie explores his Aboriginal Kamilaroi identity through his work, provoking discussion around Indigenous culture in contemporary urban environments. He is an interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary media. Through his art, Rennie provokes discussion surrounding Indigenous culture in contemporary urban environments.
Largely autobiographical, his commanding works combine the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage, merging traditional diamond-shaped designs, hand-drawn symbols and repetitive patterning to subvert romantic ideologies of Aboriginal identity. Rennie’s work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Koorie Heritage Trust, ArtBank and City of Yarra collections as well as the New Contemporary Art Museum in Jiangsu, China.
AS THE CROW FLIES has been commissioned by Lendlease with support from International Towers Sydney and Dulux. It is part of the Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan that guides the commissioning of public art and seeks to enliven the precinct with landmark artworks that provide an engaging interpretation of the site’s important Aboriginal, maritime and industrial histories.
Reko Rennie’s AS THE CROW FLIES speaks to the indigenous history of Barangaroo and is a poignant reminder of our connection to land. It follows recent indigenous artwork commissions by Lendlease for Barangaroo South including work by Bidjigal artist and elder Esme Timbery and artist Jonathan Jones, a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of south-east Australia.
For more information about the Barangaroo Public Art and Culture Plan visit:
There are videos of Rennie and the work at Longform Video - https://vimeo.com/244502395 Shortform (Instagram) Video - https://vimeo.com/244502031