New art installation at Hyde Park Barracks  

[by Francesca Hughes]

Image: supplied

Wiradjuri / Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones’ new site-specific public art installation untitled (maraong manaóuwi), co-commissioned by City of Sydney and Sydney Living Museums, will be accompanied by an extensive public program of around 50 free talks, performances, workshops and live music events by leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, academics and thinkers.


Covering 2500 square metres of Hyde Park Barracks courtyard, Jones’ month-long art installation will be created using red and white stones from Wiradjuri Country in NSW. The artwork juxtaposes two remarkably similar symbols, the maraong manaóuwi – meaning emu footprint in Gadigal, the local Sydney Aboriginal language – and the English broad arrow – evoking colonial military power – to recontextualise the vastly different stories and experiences of the same historical period.


Visitors are invited to walk upon more than 2000 maraong manaóuwi/broad arrow designs and contribute to the artwork’s slow disintegration as the stones gradually mix together. On view from 21 February – 15 March, the installation is jointly presented by Sydney Living Museums for the official reopening of Hyde Park Barracks and the City of Sydney as part of its year-round public program Art & About.


Jones has curated a robust public program of performances, talks, workshops and live music designed to activate the work by creating a living, cultural memory and encouraging discussion and debate while also accelerating the artwork’s destruction. Notable participants include Marcia Langton AM, Wesley Enoch, Lorena Allam and Lorraine Connelly-Northey & Eric Avery.


Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, said: “Temporary public art plays an important role in the life of a city, asking Sydneysiders and visitors to engage with locations in new ways or to consider new ideas and perspectives. Through untitled (maraong manaóuwi), Jonathan Jones has not only brought us a stunning and thought-provoking artwork, he has put together a fantastic free public program of performances, talks and workshops that I encourage you to engage with.”


Executive Director of Sydney Living Museums, Adam Lindsay, said: “Hyde Park Barracks has a complex history that affected many people beyond those who inhabited the building. We are reminded through this artwork, that history can be told and understood from many perspectives. The temporary nature of Jonathan Jones’ work untitled (maraong manaóuwi), will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark on the cultural memory of those who come to experience it.”


Late Nights at the barracks: understanding the voice

Every Wednesday 5pm–9pm [REGISTRATION RECOMMENDED]

Lawyer and Indigenous rights advocate Danny Gilbert AM will host three consecutive evenings of discussion and debate focusing on the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the Voice to Parliament, the process of Makarrata or truth-telling, and the ways we can move forward together as a nation. There will also be live music performances, an artist talk by Jonathan Jones, food, and the Brix pop-up rum bar. Tickets can also be purchased to experience Hyde Park Barracks at night.


Wednesday 26 February. Speaker Professor Marcia Langton AM is a Yiman and Bidjara academic of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture. She is Associate Provost at University of Melbourne.

Live music by Eric Avery, Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandjalang and Gumbangirr composer and violinist.


Wednesday 4 March. Speaker Professor Larissa Behrendt is a Eualeyai/Kamilaroi barrister and award-winning author. She is the Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology Sydney. 

Live music by acclaimed Alyawarre singer-songwriter Leah Flanagan.


Wednesday 11 March. Speaker Professor Megan Davis is a Cobble Cobble constitutional lawyer who researches in public law. She worked closely on the Uluru Statement from the Heart and is the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous at the University of New South Wales.

Live music act TBC.


Talks with Jonathan Jones and special guests

Various dates, 1–2pm

In this special series of talks in association with untitled (maraong manaóuwi), Jonathan Jones invites leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to discuss the themes and issues raised by the artwork.


Friday 21 February

Special guest: Uncle Allen Madden, Gadigal elder and leader of the Redfern community


Saturday 22 February

Special guest: Dr Peter Yanada McKenzie, Eora/Anaiwan artist, musician, teacher and researcher from the La Perouse community 


Sunday 23 February

Special guest: Dr John Maynard, Worimi historian and Professor of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Newcastle


Thursday 27 February

Special guest: Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke, writer, historian and curator with a focus on Aboriginal art and Australian colonial art


Friday 28 February

Special guest: Lorraine Connelly-Northey, a leading Waradgerie (Wiradjuri) artist


Saturday 29 February

Special guest: Wesley Enoch, Noonuccal Nuugi playwright and theatre director and Artistic Director of Sydney Festival


Sunday 1 March

Special guest: Lauren Booker, a Dharug and Japanese researcher at the University of Technology Sydney focusing on provenance, repatriation and issues of archival preservation


Thursday 5 March

Special guest: Professor Heidi Norman, a Gamilaroi researcher at the University of Technology Sydney in the field of Australian Aboriginal political history

Friday 6 March

Special guest: Dr Amanda Porter, Yuin lawyer and researcher in the areas of racialisation and criminalisation, Indigenous legal issues, youth justice, and decarceration strategies


Saturday 7 March

Special guest: Claire Coleman, award-winning Wirlomin-Noongar writer of fiction, essays and poetry


Sunday 8 March

Special guest: Dr Kiera Lindsey, University of Technology Sydney historian and writer


Thursday 12 March

Special guest: Dr Ross Gibson, Centenary Professor of Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra


Friday 13 March

Special guest: Dr Jeanine Leane, a Wiradjuri writer, teacher and academic at the University of Melbourne


Saturday 14 March

Special guest: Lorena Allam, award-winning Gamilaraay and Yuwalaraay journalist and broadcaster, and The Guardian’s Indigenous Affairs Editor


Sunday 15 March

Special guest: Aunty Glendra Stubbs, a Wiradjuri elder who has worked to address the lasting impact of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families; elder in residence at the University of Technology Sydney


Make Your Mark drop-in workshop

Every day, 21 February – 15 March, 10am–4pm

Wed 26 February, Wed 4 March & Wed 11 March, 5pm–9pm

untitled (maraong manaóuwi) marries the two symbols of the emu footprint and the English broad arrow. Workshop participants are invited to make their own mark on Hyde Park Barracks site, using stamps and historical images to create an artwork that reveals Sydney’s built environment and history.


Weekend storytelling, performances & workshops

Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 February

Cheryl Davison is a Walbunja and Ngarigo storyteller and artist with connections to the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal community on NSW’s south coast. In this workshop, Cheryl will share her family’s histories and explore the use of symbols and designs to tell stories of Country.
11am–12pm – Storytelling and workshop
2pm–3pm – Storytelling and workshop


Saturday 29 February & Sunday 1 March
Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist and educator Sharron Lindh will share an engaging performance with her special friend Dinawan (Emu). Sing along with Sharron as she shares her story and the significance of the emu in Indigenous culture. For her workshop, Sharron will demonstrate how the emu’s beautiful feathers are used to create pieces that adorn the body.

11am–12pm – Performance

2pm–3pm – Workshop


Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 March

Shannon Foster is a local Sydney D’harawal knowledge keeper and artist with family connections across the Sydney region including the local Aboriginal community of La Perouse. Shannon will share the stories and weaving techniques of Sydney Saltwater Country that have been passed down through her family over thousands of years. In this workshop, participants will make their very own woven emu footprint whilst hearing the stories of the world's oldest and longest surviving culture.

11am–12pm – Storytelling and workshop
2pm–3pm – Storytelling and workshop 


Special closing event
Sunday 15 March, from 2pm
NAISDA Dance College will lead a mass workshop and public performance of a contemporary emu dance. This performance will involve the final destruction of untitled (maraong manaóuwi) by mixing the stones, leaving the artwork as a memory forever connected to the site.


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