Always was, always will be

For the past few years, the artwork “Always was, always will be” by Reko Rennie has been a feature of Taylor Square in Sydney. Striking, stunning, colourful, and a bold statement about Aboriginal land, I always smiled when I saw it.

But, as reported a few weeks ago…

The council announced on Friday that the artwork will be painted over from November 20. “Although this artwork holds significance to Sydney’s Indigenous community, it was not commissioned as part of the Eora journey program that celebrates living culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities,” the council said in a statement. “It was always intended to be a temporary piece.”

Yeah, I understand the reasoning, but it was still sad, last night, to see they’ve removed the painting and it has been turned it into something terribly boring.

Buildings go through changes, of course. Nothing is forever. Though the media has referred to it as “the old T2 building”, I still remember it as the former home of “Fruits in Suits” and as “JBF”, a legendary gay bar which was known “colloquially” as “Just Been F….”

Before the sale goes ahead, I wonder how long it will remain empty? The old Commonwealth Bank building at Surry Hills closed in 2013 and has only re-opened this weekend as a vet, four years after it closed. I hope the same won’t happen again.

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