Public artwork by international artist installed at AURA by Aqualand

Richard Sweeney’s objective was to create a visually complex piece that appears light and abstract, with the appearance of layering and weathering
Public artwork by international artist installed at AURA by Aqualand
Urban EditorialMay 24, 2024PROJECT SPOTLIGHT

Leading Australian integrated property development group, Aqualand, has installed a sculpture created by world-renowned, London-based artist, Richard Sweeney, on the ground plane of their AURA by Aqualand mixed-use precinct, located at 168 Walker Street, North Sydney.

Rising 28 storeys above the streetscape, and due for construction completion in June, the $1B Woods Bagot-designed residential community comprises 371 luxury apartments above a richly landscaped community precinct, including a two-storey curated food and beverage podium.

Aqualand’s collaboration with award-winning landscape architects, Turf Design Studio, has resulted in a ground plane design that successfully integrates the project with the unique local environs of the characterful suburb. 

This landscape design has now been embellished with the installation of the site-specific public art piece titled ‘landscape’, which graces the Walker Street entrance to the precinct. 

Commissioned by Aqualand, the 4.1-metre bronze cast piece was also inspired by North Sydney’s locale, and features unique, organic curves inspired by the natural elements of sandstone, water and the landscape synonymous with the harbour front. The artwork has been woven into the fabric of the garden to amplify the arrival experience.

Public artwork by international artist installed at AURA by Aqualand

Richard Sweeney’s objective was to create a visually complex piece that appears light and abstract, with the appearance of layering and weathering. 

“To achieve this effect, I incorporated subtle voids and carefully placed layers to offer variation in both shape and texture,” Sweeney said.

“The surface of the sculpture has a slight striated effect reflecting the layered effect of the sandstone. 

“Comprised of two separate elements, depending on the viewpoint, it has a feeling of mass and solidity or an appearance of lightness and fluidity.

“A combination of patinas and paint was used to achieve the duo-tone effect using yellow and red tonalities, echoing sandstone colours and textures. A subtle pearl effect gives more contrast between inner/outer surfaces.

‘‘The charming metal sculpture pays tribute to the intriguing textures of the iconic local weathered sandstone. It’s been a joy to create and it's truly gratifying to finally see it installed in the place I specifically designed it for,” he said.

Public artwork by international artist installed at AURA by Aqualand

Fabricated at UAP’s foundry in Brisbane, the piece will support vibrant placemaking by creating a focal point to greet future residents and their visitors, patrons of and staff working at the bakery, café, wine bars and restaurant, and the broader North Sydney community alike. 

Aqualand Group Managing Director, Jin Lin, says he’s excited by the artwork’s installation and sees it as a testament to Aqualand’s commitment to building communities that reflect the local area. 

“As we retain ownership of the retail spaces in all our projects, we’re with them for the long term, long after the residences have sold out," Lin said.

"As such, we take great pride in working closely with the local community to create projects that truly elevate their surroundings. We have a number of significant investments in North Sydney and are deeply committed to increasing the appeal of the suburb as an engaging and activated precinct to not only work in but to live and play in too."

Lin says they see the installation as a permanent symbol of their commitment to the area, one the entire community can now enjoy.

“We can’t wait to welcome our North Sydney neighbours in over the coming weeks, so they can enjoy our retail offerings and this beautiful new sculpture."

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