World Premiere Of Major International Collaboration Commemorating WW1.
Five leading artists from Europe and Australia have created a 120 metre floating artwork that will provide an opportunity for up to 20,000 visitors to have an immersive, reflective experience while floating in the middle of Darling Harbour.
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is committed to creative endeavours that bring the foreshore to life and is proud to host the World Premiere of ‘Nomanslanding’ on Darling Harbour as a part of the national Centenary of ANZAC commemorations. The artwork will then tour to the Merchant City Festival in Glasgow, Scotland and Germany’s prestigious Ruhrtriennale.
The installation is a co-commission by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Glasgow Life / Merchant City Festival and Urbane Künste Ruhr / Ruhrtriennale. “We posed a question, can we make site specific work that is both grounded in place, and able to tour?” said international curators Katja Aßmann, Michael Cohen and Lorenzo Mele.
In 2014, artists Robyn Backen (Australia), Andre Dekker (Netherlands), Graham Eatough (United Kingdom), Nigel Helyer (Australia) and Jennifer Turpin (Australia) were brought together at contemporary arts research centre Bundanon Trust for a hothouse arts laboratory. They collaboratively rose to the challenge with ‘Nomanslanding’ – a work spanning public art, sculpture, theatre, sound design and environmental installation. ‘Nomanslanding’ draws on the maritime military heritage of three urban waterways – Darling Harbour in Sydney, The River Clyde in Glasgow, and the former Eisenbahnhafen in Duisburg Ruhrort, Germany.
‘Nomanslanding’ features a pair of floating, extendable walkways, reminiscent of early 20th century naval pontoon bridges. Visitors approach from opposing shores across the water, in an unfamiliar no man’s land, to arrive in a dome structure in the middle of the bay. The dome structure is split in two and so visitors peer across a 10-m divide of water at each other – all the while with the cityscape of Sydney rising above them beyond the bay. The two halves of the dome structure then move together and visitors from opposing sides are united in a chapel-like, shared space for contemplation. A whispering architecture forms in the curve of the dome, creating new resonance. There is sound and song, a poetic journey of a soldier’s experience.