Commissioned by the Federation Square Public Art program, and realised in collaboration with Lab Architecture Studio, Nearamnew is an artwork designed for the plaza of Federation Square. Inscribed into the surface of the plaza, the artwork consists of three parts: a whorl pattern, nine ground figures and nine vision texts, each engraved into a ground figure. Nearamnew’s tripartite design acts as a graphic analogue of the global, regional and local levels found in a federally organised society.
The whorl pattern, created from cobbles of Kimberley sandstone, forms the outer envelope of the design. Nestled inside it are the nine ground figures and nine vision texts. As the ground figures are also made from Kimberley sandstone, the three parts of Nearamnew merge into one another. Relating the whole space to the particular locations of the ground figures, and letting visitors orientate themselves via the intimate experience of reading words at their feet, Nearamnew is a creative catalyst of movement.
The location of the figures, their different shapes, and the various ways in which the texts are arranged across them reminds visitors that Nearamnew is not a book, but rather a design for walking, talking and meeting. As a visitor to the plaza, the first step is not to look for the lines of text, but to tread the ground. Be prepared to move around the image-texts and read the phrases, not linearly, but rather as a chain of overlapping words. As you move, spell out the letters of the ground figures and sound out the words from the stories gathered in the vision texts. As you tread, you just might have the sensation of walking in the footsteps of the many who have gone before, retracing the many discourses that have tracked through, over and under this site.
Federation Square later supported a microsite for Nearamnew which explored the narrative behind the project.
Mythform tells the story of how this extraordinary work was conceived, developed and installed. A selection from some of the hundreds of studies, drawings and plans made over the four years of design and construction allow the reader ‘behind the scenes’ into the making of this immense project; the detailed photographs reveal the beauty of the design at all stages of its progress and Paul Carter’s commentary provides insights into how the ‘concrete poems’ commemorate the extraordinary wealth of myth, legend and dream associated with Federation Square.
Mythform is a 126 page book published by The Miegunyah Press and designed on collaboration with Sean Hogan of Trampoline
. You can purchase Mythform from Readings
, as well as many other retailers.
A selected spread from Mythform: the making of Nearamnew.