Jamie North’s Borrowed Landscape set for Newcastle public art installation

Jamie North's show Slidings - Rock Suspensions at The Lock-Up. Photo courtesy the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery.

Jamie North’s show Slidings – Rock Suspensions at The Lock-Up 2017. Photo courtesy the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery.

Create NSW in partnership with Transport for NSW today announced that visual artist Jamie North has been selected to lead a Newcastle public artwork installation alongside the new light rail.

Following an expression of interest announced in July this year, North’s Borrowed Landscape concept was selected through a peer assessment process as the leading design to be installed across a 225-square metre public space at Worth Place, between Hunter Street and Honeysuckle Drive.

Artists were asked to submit proposed designs that utilised and celebrated heritage sandstone blocks and steel rail tracks uncovered during early site works on the light rail project.

At the centre of Borrowed Landscape, two large naturalistic stone blocks will project galvanised steel bars to suspend groups of sandstone blocks in the air. This arrangement will be joined by two smaller similar groupings, with additional carved red-brick spheres providing a tonal contrast to the sandstone and grey site paving.

Consistent with North’s previous work, irrigated native plant communities (here including Port Jackson Fig) will inhabit both the base and floating rock elements to allow for seasonal flowering and for the plants to become part of an ever-changing, living sculpture.

Jamie North grew up in Newcastle and in recent years has exhibited at Newcastle’s The Lock-up (Slidings – 2017) as well as creating works for the 20th Biennale of Sydney (Succession – 2016), the National Gallery of Victoria (Rock Melt – 2015) and the Concrete exhibition in Istanbul (Spoils – 2015).

Anand Thomas, Program Director, Newcastle Transport Program said, “With the installation of this public art using material recovered during construction, Revitalising Newcastle is maintaining its commitment to transform the city centre without losing sight of the city’s historical legacy. This exciting public art will help activate Newcastle West and provide the perfect spot to watch the light rail go by.”

Executive Director for Create Investment and Engagement, Elizabeth W. Scott added, “Jamie North’s compelling vision is set to deliver an evocative installation that will resonate with the community passing through one of Newcastle’s most exciting emerging cultural hubs.”

Borrowed Landscape will be installed prior to light rail operating in early 2019.

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Published: 5 December 2018