Sentries - Expanded Architecture - Sydney Architecture Festival 2014
Tina Fox created ‘Sentries’ as a site specific art work for 9 Castlereagh St as part of The Sydney Architecture Festival 2014. The foyer spaces of three iconic Harry Seidler buildings in Sydney’s CBD were transformed for a one-‐night only light exhibition on Friday 7 November called Temporal Formal at Seidler City to commemorate the opening of the Seidler Exhibition at the Museum of Sydney.
The special event, curated by Expanded Architecture especially for the Festival, in partnership with the Seidler Architectural Foundation and the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, lead guests on an evening tour throughout Sydney’s CBD revealing specially commissioned contemporary art installations created by artists and architects inside some of the city’s best-‐known buildings to examine the intersections between art and architecture throughout different eras, such as Bauhaus or modular art from the 1960s.
The crochet sculptures were set on three existing small granite plinths outside the main entrance.
Inspired by the geometry of the plinths, the artist will extrude their shape upwards and create three tall columns with string and crochet. Their rectilinear form and graphic black and white patterning borrow directly from modular formal art of the 1960’s and the striking tiled artwork within the lobby of the building by Lin Utzon. The work has also been particularly influenced by the minimalist, repetitive, graphic and architectural nature of the works by artist Sol Le Witt and the functional aesthetic of Harry Seidler.
The ‘Sentries’ however present a more domesticated version of minimalism with their hand crafted style, slight irregularity and soft surfaces. Softness tends to be viewed as an undesirable character trait but in this work it becomes an interesting contrast to the architecture around it. The crochet itself becomes undomesticated, placed into the corporate environment, bringing with it hints of home. It begs to be touched and hugged, demanding an emotional, human connection. Columns have feelings too.
As a trained architect and contemporary artist Tina’s work blends together ideas from architecture, art and craft to reinterpret and challenge our preconceptions of the built environment. The ‘Sentries’ stand silently and watch busy people marching in and out of the building. The plinths have gained a personality, what are they thinking? Are they benevolent, waiting for a hug or are they judging the fast paced world around them?