The Barangaroo Delivery Authority on Friday announced the appointment of Genevieve Grieves and Amanda Reynolds as the site’s first Artistic Associates Program.
Both women are nationally recognised multimedia artists and curators, who said they were deeply honoured and grateful to be given the opportunity to share the stories of Barangaroo’s heritage and people, particularly those of the women.
"We had a very strong feeling, like a magnetic pull, that this was a really important project," said artist Amanda Reynolds.
The year-long project was initially conceived nearly a year ago when the artists came across an invitation from the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists working in the field of multimedia.
After spending time in Sydney talking with Elders and the community about Barangaroo’s history, the artists submitted a proposal for their installation.
Gabrielle Trainor, Chair of the authority’s Art and Cultural Panel said that "from a very strong field, their response stood out for its firm base in cultural engagement," and because "they deeply resonate with the Cammeraygal woman, Barangaroo, and the ancient history of the site."
The project is the first public art commission under the new program, and is designed to capture moments in time, deepening the experience of Barangaroo.
"We will be developing a suite of short films that will be embedded throughout the site," said artist Genevieve Grieves.
About the artists
Aboriginal artist Amanda Reynolds specialises in collaborative creations which explore the differences and similarities in people and their cultures. She established Stella Stories, an independent curatorial and creative arts business, in 2010. Community and heritage site collaborations are two of her specialisations.
Genevieve Grieves, a Worimi woman, is an award-winning Indigenous artist, curator and oral historian, with over twenty years experience in the arts and culture industries. She predominantly works in video, sound and film making - areas in which she is nationally recognised.
The artists have previously collaborated on the highly-acclaimed 'First People's exhibition at the Melbourne Museum winning awards both nationally and on an international scale.
The project will be using new technologies to share the beautiful stories of Aboriginal women’s culture from the region, helping to nurture a memory of history in the next generation.
"Multimedia provides so many amazing opportunities to share our oral histories; it allows you to be in the present and the past. It can be very intimate or absolutely expansive," said Grieves of their chosen medium.
The installation will aim to enhance the site’s role as a place of remembrance for the Cammeraygal and Eora women and honour its namesake, Old Lady Barangaroo.
The women feel that their stories will resonate with women all over the world, in their roles as the backbone of many cultures.
Amanda said that the duo hope to engage people "to create a moment in time of togetherness and listening in the busy city".
She said that as visitors "walk through the gardens and beautiful pathways, they’ll encounter moments in time where they can sit and stop and listen and get a moment of a story."
The project will be a collaborative creation involving members of the community and Elders who will share their people’s stories with the artists.
"I think when people sit down together, you can find human connections. I’ve been blessed to have this role as a storyteller and we want to create the platform for the community to be involved with their story. To us that’s the greatest honour."
Amanda says that a large part of their creative method is about how they travel and journey through the process.
The development of the installation and input from the Indigenous community will define the final result.