CITY OF SYDNEY LANEWAY REVITALISATION PROJECT

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Caroline Rothwell's installation "Watling's Tree" was inaugurated by City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore on 18th June 2012 at the reopening of Albion Place, after five months of works on the inner-city laneway.

The artwork is comprised of a series of silver screens: laser-etched stainless-steel panels that transform the cinema emergency exit doors along the laneway. The six images are based on a tree prominent in several of the earliest surviving pictorial renditions of the area that now encompasses Albion Place, in particular a drawing attributed to convict artist Thomas Watling, from the 1790s. Rothwell's interpretation carries forward the representation of an actual tree specimen that existed pre-colonisation. In this series of images the tree is uprooted and becomes inverted, reflecting a subsequent journey laden with social and political history.

The City of Sydney says of the integrated artwork: "Curator Claire Taylor worked with the landscape architects and with the City’s team to identify opportunities for public art in this challenging space, and Caroline’s work has met the challenge with a poetic and evocative work deeply connected to the site."

Albion Place was the first laneway in the Southern Precinct of the Laneway Revitalisation Project to have works completed, with Rothwell's installation being the first permanent artwork to be commissioned by the City of Sydney in the precinct.

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