Chris Fox Interloop 2017
Wynyard Station, Sydney
Commissioned by: Novo Rail Program Alliance for Transport for NSW
In 2016 Cultural Capital authored a curatorial strategy for a unique opportunity at Sydney’s historic Wynyard Station. Artist Chris Fox was selected to produce the work and after a rigorous engineering and fabrication process has produced this dramatic artwork.
Interloop hangs from Wynyard station ceiling, hovering above the escalators that travel underground from York Street. The vast twisting accordion-shaped sculpture reconfigures the heritage escalators that once stood there in a stitched form. Interloop measures more than fifty metres in length, weighs over five tonnes, and weaves in 244 wooden treads and four combs from the original escalators.
When we work with art in the public realm we develop intimate relationships with the places in which we work. More often than not, art in the public realm is responsive to an important element of the place in which it is sited; an aspect of its geographic, historic or cultural landscape. Sometimes a heritage component brings additional complexity into the relationship between art, place and people.
Chris Fox’s Interloop navigates that complexity beautifully and Sydney has responded in kind. As art strategists and curators for the project, Cultural Capital’s long association with this site gave us a detailed understanding of the environment of Wynyard station; its meanings for Sydney’s commuters, the way its spaces work and its histories. This knowledge helped us to shortlist artists who we knew would do justice to the potential of this particular project and then brief them in a way that maximised its opportunities.
With Interloop, chosen artist Chris Fox has taken the physical material of the escalators operating at Wynyard since the 1930’s and interpreted it in a contemporary way. The work is not nostalgic; it doesn’t look back in a sentimental fashion. Instead it simply takes a physical element known to generations of Sydney commuters and renders timeless that particular piece of Sydney’s cultural heritage, at the same time cementing it in our collective memory. Thank you Chris for taking this unique public art brief and making from it an artwork that resonates so strongly with the people of Sydney.
Congratulations to Transport for NSW, Novo Rail and artist Chris Fox on a stunning work.
Photography: Josh Raymond