Project Description

ARTIST | Blak Douglas

PROJECT | Greens Square Sydney

CLIENT | City of Sydney

iAM Scope | Artist Brief, Concept Design Development

iAM Projects was engaged to develop an artist brief and manage concept design development for the multi-games court at the new Green Square Public School & Community Space building in Sydney.

Blak Douglas was commissioned with his work The Belly of The Feast. Drawing upon historical accounts of the excavation of nearby Shea’s Creek in 1896 where 5500-year-old Dugong bones were unearthed. The fossils showed evidence of human intervention most likely in preparation for eating, suggesting Aboriginal people were present in the area during this time. Blak’s design is based on the metaphorical and spiritual experience of the unexpected urban dugong and the radical rethinking it bought about.

The artwork aims to create a magical, mystical and immersive space with soft colour gradients bringing the viewer inside the belly of the beast. The court surface offers several reference points. A repeated motif of a mother and baby Dugong reference rock engravings relevant to local coastal cultures and further this site as a school and community facility. The enlarged bones with ‘scratches’ offer an abstract ‘Pop Art’ interpretation of the exact bones found in the creek. Interspersed between are stylised bubbles referencing this estuarine area as a watery place and the lived experience of the Dugong. The centre circle and the two key circles carry ochre colours used in body paint designs. Within the ‘3 point’ line, the 12 concentric circles represent the ‘ripple effect’ of the culturally unknown, the resonance.

Digital renders and artwork description: courtesy the artist.