There were police EVERYWHERE in the city today. Due to the “Controversial Muslim Video” and the associated protests, police in Sydney were definitely on a “heightened state of alert”.
It was something I’d only half-noticed, due to being on a “heightened state of alert” myself, due to my job. Mostly they were on foot, and mostly walking in twos and threes, though I’d imagine they would have quickly moved into “operational mode” if something untoward had happened.
My venture into the city today, however, was more about “Art & About”, the annual public arts space in the City of Sydney which I normally look forward to each year. Indeed, I’ve at least once seriously considered submitting an entry.
That said, I was a little disappointed with the “City Life” photographic display in Hyde Park. Normally, it’s something I enjoy very much, though this year I thought most of the works were quite predictable. The works which surprised and interested me were the works about the soldiers doing training on the outskirts of Sydney and the the market gardens at Matraville. What I thought was interesting about these works was they highlighted a part of Sydney life which was quite unexpected. In the midst of a major global city, the works were almost “rural”. Very interesting.
I didn’t have time to take too much of a look at other works around the city, though I did enjoy the youthful sculptures around Martin Place, and I especially liked the Reko Rennie work at Taylor Square. Reko is an Aboriginal man, with a country heritage, but whose work mostly deals with life in urban areas. He has transformed the old JBF bar (that’s what I still call it) at Taylor Square into an amazing art work with the title, “Always was, always will be”, being a reference to Aboriginal lands.
The other work at Taylor Square is totally forgettable. It’s a work which features some overhead wires and styled paper-planes. The whole idea is the work moves and projects some interesting patterns as the sun moves through the sky. A bit lame, in my humble view.
I only skimmed the surface of Art & About today, so am looking forward to re-visiting the works over the next few weeks.