Walk of Interest – Public Artworks in the CBD – Review

Last Tuesday ten of us took a leisurely stroll from Circular Quay to Haymarket in search of artwork quietly adorning gardens, building forecourts, footpaths and laneways in the city.

We began at Macquarie Place which boasts not only the Obelisk of Distances, erected in 1818 and still used as the official starting point for measuring road distances in New South Wales, but also an anchor and cannon from the Sirius, wrecked off Norfolk Island in 1790, a statue of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, and two plane trees planted by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 1954 that mark the commencement of the Avenue of Remembrance which runs through to Canberra.

Next we found Day in Day out, a brightly coloured sculpture at the front of 1 Bligh St, the Dobell Memorial Sculpture on the corner of Spring and Pitt Streets and Forgotten Songs, a collection of birdcages suspended overhead in Angel Place. If one stands quietly beneath them, different birdsongs can be heard, commemorating the songs of fifty birds once heard in the area.

We then stopped at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, installed in 1929 and then onto Barrack Street where two small bronze statues, Youngsters, stand playfully on the footpath.

We then visited the statue of Queen Victoria, originally from Dublin, and only installed on the corner of Druitt Street in the 1980s when the QVB was restored.

In Haymarket we found the Golden Water Mouth Tree, created from a dead Yellow Box tree adorned with 23 carat gold leaf. The sculpture marks the entry to the symbolic village of Chinatown.

Finally we explored Kimber Lane which features murals on the walls and floor and ‘spirit’ creatures suspended overhead. The artwork is called In between two worlds.

The morning ended with a pleasant yum cha lunch in Dixon Street.

Sharon Peterson