Raising a glass to a community’s memories

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE (A.I.R.) is a is a temporary public art project, occupying Central Park’s heritage brewery yard buildings and brick stack in Sydney, from April 2011. Artists Brook Andrew, Mikala Dwyer, Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro and Caroline Rothwell have been selected to create works specifically for this unusual and spectacularly visible site – just off Broadway, in the thick of Central Park’s construction activity.

Each artist has been given free rein to create an artwork that will not only contribute to the creative character of the Chippendale community, but will also be inspired by what art advisor Michaelie Crawford describes as “the history, fluids, processes and intoxications of the site’s brewing past”. As each artist installs a new work, the previous works will remain – building to a playful collective ‘conversation’ between the four works.

Brook Andrew is the first artist to temporararily take over the heritage Brewery Yard, with LOCAL MEMORY, a monumental artwork comprising of a series of portraits of people who worked in or were associated with the brewery’s history. The 18 portraits – each almost 3 metres high – fit neatly into the exposed grid of floors and walls on the northern exterior wall of the old Irving Street Brewery building.

Each portrait is illuminated by a red neon frame which will fade on and off in a series of programmed sequences, illuminating different images at different times. The artwork will be an engagingly active kinetic light installation and have both a day time and night time presence.

Says Brook, the project “aims to celebrate people who have lived, worked and witnessed change on the brewery site between 1909 and 1998. These people are often the forgotten ones of societies whose importance in work and lifestyle has little or no public memory, let alone the intimate social and cultural lives they lived and legacies within local families and brewery production”.

Read more about the opening of the project here.

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