3 Apr 2018

Sydney inhabitants may have been lucky enough to spot some new arrivals throughout the CBD over the last week. 68 new arrivals to be exact.

Taking the form of little birds, the bronze figures are the focus of acclaimed artist Tracey Emin’s latest art installation. The British artist was commissioned to make the work, titled ‘The Distance of Your Heart’, by the City of Sydney in 2014, as part of the City Centre Public Art Plan that complements the state government’s light rail project.

The recently completed artwork incorporates the handmade bronze bird sculptures – which took four years to create – within the public domain and a birdbath in Macquarie Place Park. The installation is located at the northern end of the Sydney CBD traversing the city’s heritage precinct along Bridge Street, Macquarie Place Park, Grosvenor Street and Lang Park.

Urbis Associate Director’s Fiona Binns (Heritage), Naomi Daley (Planning) and Celeste Martin (Design) worked closely with the City of Sydney to gain approval for the Development Application for the major – yet unobtrusive – public artwork.

The small birds are installed on building façades and awnings, as well as public domain elements such as park benches, bus stops, railings, and lamp posts. Different mounting methods are used, dependent upon location, the significance of fabric, accessibility and heritage advice.

The opposite of monumental, the key intent of the installation was to communicate feelings of distance and homesickness; a public art piece that is ‘simple, straightforward and accessible to everybody’.