Artists Peter McGreggor and Michaelie Crawford have just about completed their 3 year engagement on the art for Sydney Metro’s northwest section due to open in 2019. As technical advisors, PublicArt Works role was to oversee this planning and concept development process for TfNSW to ensure high quality lasting artworks at all 8 stations.
Light Line + Social Square is an ambitious and broad ranging approach to public art in infrastructure. The philosophy behind the approach is art as a feeling rather than a product, integrated and not separate to the station infrastructure. The artwork installations are seamlessly integrated into all the station spaces melding art, environment, architecture, urban and landscape design, lighting, engineering, and heritage.
Colour permeates and unifies all elements of Light Line Social Square . The colours of Light Line+ Social Square are applied to a surprising array of places from landscape to lighting. It includes architectural touch points such as customer assistance, and the glazing of escalators, elevators and personal safety screens to create a unified experience of space.
The vibrant colours of the orchard produce that used to grow in the north west of Sydney, inspire a line-wide, station specific colour palette. The use of colour provides a bright contrast to the dominant grey of the station finishes. It has been applied to various surfaces, with each station’s dominant colour derived from the local area’s agricultural heritage.
A couple of the highlights include the linear platform light installation, programmed to respond to the arrival and departure of trains, that will link all the stations in a kind of network-wide illuminated kinetic artwork. It promises to be a very cool feature of a high tech system.
Three of the stations Castle Hill, Showground and Norwest, feature beautiful skylights designed by the artists. A dozen or so large square glass boxes, pop up within a gridded grove of trees which at night will appear like lanterns in the landscape while by day the coloured glass casts an array of moving patterns across the floor and ceiling of the concourse. A mirrored lining creates an added infinity effect – just one of many visual surprises the artists have brought to the project.
Congratulations to TfNSW for their unwavering support of this multimillion dollar public art project. Let’s hope this is just the beginning of an exciting art process rolled out across the rest of the Metro Network.
“Light Line +Social Square” aims to create a sense of delight and respite, belonging and engagement for the community, elevating the sense of a quality journey for the customer.”
Artists Michaelie Crawford & Peter McGreggor