One of Sydney’s tallest towers to showcase international and local artists in permanent artworks

Sydney, 26 February 2021 – Greenland Australia has unveiled the permanent artworks set to grace its Greenland Centre Sydney tower, on the former Sydney Water headquarters site at 115 Bathurst Street, Sydney.

Rising to 67 storeys (235 metres) above the Sydney streetscape, making it one of the tallest towers in the city, the building, which is currently nearing completion, is set to become an epicentre for the arts, with two significant permanent artworks embellishing its façade and main foyer.

Currently under installation on the building’s main façade is an artwork by internationally renowned New Mexico-based artist Larry Bell.

Mr Bell’s recognised use of colour, geometry and glass were seen to complement the design of Greenland Centre Sydney and its nine-storey podium façade, which will contain car parking, residents’ facilities and a five-storey creative hub operated by the City of Sydney.

The artwork, ‘Andamooka: Portraits of Red’, will feature on a section of the podium that projects over the footpath on the north face of the building.

The artwork will consist of cantilevered blades of coloured glass in front of a mirrored backing, which will be traced by the varying angles of the north sun and when observed throughout year, will render different compositions, creating multiple readings of the artwork.

The sculpture’s panels will measure approximately 12 metres in height, with each panel graduating into a progressively deeper shade of red, starting with a lighter ‘blush’ colour and finishing with a darker shade known as ‘carmine’.

The angular form of the sculpture will resonate with its surroundings, including the building’s design, the geometry of the façade and the use of red colours, while it will also reference the angled glass that can be seen in the semi-enclosed balconies of the tower above level 27, and which features on the podium façade that abuts the artwork.

Meanwhile, the second artwork currently under installation is a mosaic piece by Sydney-based artist, Agatha Gothe-Snape.

To be known as ‘The Noblest of the Elements is Water’, it will be positioned in the building’s East Laneway, which connects Bathurst Street and the Primus Hotel.

Measuring five metres by 17 metres, the artwork will span the ceiling and one wall of the laneway, making it accessible to the public and highlighting the message that water is fundamental to civilisation and humankind’s very survival.

In keeping with this message, pattern and colour will ebb and flow overhead as visitors walk through the lane, creating a feeling of ‘wateriness’ to carry them along.

The artwork’s title binds it to the history of the adjoining Primus Hotel, which originally served as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board from 1939-2009.

The title also adds another layer of complexity to its message, as it quotes the Greek poet Pindar (c. 517–438 BC) and is the name of part of the three-panel bas relief in bronze by artist Stanley J Hammond (1913–2000), that graces the eastern Pitt Street entrance to the Primus Hotel.

The ‘veins’ which feature in the artwork’s background reproduce a work of marbling by Agatha’s beloved paternal grandmother, Margo Snape, who is widely recognised for her achievement in the art and craft of marbling.

The marble sheet of Margo’s that Agatha reproduces in her mosaic artwork evokes the patterning and colour of the scagliola, marble and travertine surfaces of the columns and floors of the Primus Hotel.

The artwork is comprised of a combination of sintered glass, Murano smalti-covered ceramic tiles, fired ceramic tiles, and natural split-face marble using six preferred colours: two blacks and two reds for the lettering and the ‘veins’ simulating the marbling, and two tans, close to a skin tone, for the background.

The artwork was fabricated in Italy by The Travisanutto Giovanni Srl Artistic Mosaic Studio, which provides mosaics for churches, basilicas and cathedrals, as well as civic spaces such as airports, metro stations, embassies and public squares worldwide.

Both pieces were approved by the City of Sydney’s Public Art Advisory Panel.

According to Greenland Australia’s CEO, Sherwood Luo, the team from the City of Sydney, including the Lord Mayor and the Director of City Planning, Graham Jahn, played a crucial role in helping to deliver the project.

“We couldn’t be more excited to reach this point in the building’s progression, where we are finally able to add the finishing touches, including these stunning artworks, and we wouldn’t have got to this point without our fruitful relationship with the City of Sydney,” said Mr Luo.

“Knowing the significant cultural impact this building will have on Sydney’s residents and visitors has always been a key driver for us.

“In addition to these two stunning artworks, we look forward to handing over the keys to the City of Sydney Creative Hub, which will occupy approximately 2,000sqm across the first five floors of the building and soon become a home to the city’s growing arts community,” said Mr Luo.

Indeed, with soundproofed rooms for music rehearsals, editing suites for filmmakers and studios for visual artists, the $25 million creative hub is expected to be a go-to destination for Sydney’s budding and established creatives.

Once complete, Greenland Centre Sydney will comprise a total of 479 apartments, varying in size from 39 to 265sqm and including the $35 million 674sqm David Selden-designed King Penthouse, which boasts 270-degree vistas over the iconic Sydney Harbour and CBD, as well as across Barangaroo and Darling Harbour to the Blue Mountains.

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