– Highlights

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Event

ARTBAR January 2018

Today, 7.00pm, Throughout the MCA

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Exhibition

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean

01 Nov - 18 Feb

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Exhibition

Jon Campbell: MCA Collection

04 Dec - 25 Feb

– Learning Events

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Event

ARTBAR January 2018

Today, 7.00pm, Throughout the MCA

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Workshop

Contemporary Kids School Holiday Program

23 Jan, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Event

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean [Unplugged]

23 Jan, 6.00pm, Level 3: Galleries

– News from inside the MCA

The Importance of Laughter

We sat down with laughter connoisseur Shari Coventry from Sydney Laughter to discover the truth about laughter and why we need it ahead of this month’s Laughter Sessions. more

Coming up in 2018…

Next year is one of the most exciting and diverse seasons yet. Find out what’s on. more

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Antenna's Rich Welch

To pave the way for the soon-to-come cinema binge at Antenna Film Festival,Co-Director Rich Welch shared a few of his life changing films. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

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MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Brook Andrew, Warrang, 2012

This public artwork was commissioned as a contemporary interpretation of the heritage significance of the colonial naval docks located under the new wing of the MCA. In an alcove just to the side of the museum’s entrance, a sculptural LED arrow, measuring over two metres in length, pulsates with a dynamic pattern of radiating rectangular shapes. The arrow directs our gaze to seven lines of poetry written by Andrew and engraved into the concrete forecourt. As the artist says, readers following the text will walk along ‘a dock’s edge, water edge, imaginary edge of the archaeology and sandstone under the earth. Visitors will not only be physically drawn to the arrow from far across Circular Quay, especially during evening times, but will congregate to contemplate the text which specifically speaks to the site as Sydney Cove. This arrow and text mark the present site as a historical and colonial ship-building port, docks and architecture’.1

The zig-zag pattern used in the LED arrow is derived from Andrew’s mother’s Wiradjuri ancestors. For the Wiradjuri, the radial diamond pattern was an important cultural marker, used on shields and dendroglyphs (marked trees). The artist’s strobing application is a metaphor for ‘our dizzying and electric contemporary societies built on capitalist and first class notions of identity and success’. This mesmerising pattern draws the viewer in towards the ‘earthy prose set in the ground’. For the artist, the prose functions ‘like a window into the earth below, offering words reflecting on the history of the site’.2

“The choice to use text in the work was carefully considered: The text hints at lost or covered histories. History revived through public art is often a tricky task. I think history – whose history? – can mean different things to different people. There is a tendency to be too literal or maybe see a point in history as more romantic than it actually was. Or perhaps history was wrongly written and recorded. I am always aware that what we read today is often laced with personal perspectives and has most probably changed from the original event.

I was interested in reflecting on the romance of the site and what it was, and in addressing the dream-like qualities of history and how we perceive histories in different ways.”3


Anne Loxley (Curator, C3West) and artist Brook Andrew


back to Building Commissions

Find out more about the historic dockyards

View Brook Andrew’s profile in the MCA Collection Online

Warrang

animated LED arrow, Australian hardwood with shou-sugi-ban finish, sandblasted concrete

Image: Brook Andrew Warrang, 2012, installation view, MCA Forecourt, image courtesy and © the artist

Footnotes

1 Brook Andrew, Public art proposal for MCA new building: ‘Warrang’ (Sydney Cove), April 2010

2 ibid

3 Brook Andrew, email to Anne Loxley, 23 November 2011