Search

‘bara’, Monument for the Eora People, Judy Watson – City of Sydney

Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment

ROJECT OVERVIEW

Unveiled in May 2022, ‘bara’ stands as tribute to the living traditions and enduring heritage of Australia’s First Nations Peoples, particularly the Eora fisherwomen. Commissioned by the City of Sydney as part of their Public Art Program ‘The Eora Journey’, this remarkable sculpture by celebrated Aboriginal artist Judy Watson is a symbol of cultural legacy and a deep connection to place.

Carved from Carrara white marble, ‘bara’ is a monumental six-meter-high artwork shaped onto the crescent form of the traditional ‘bara’ fish-hooks. These fishhooks, originally made from turban shells and utilised by the Eora fisherwomen along the Sydney Harbour foreshore, hold immense cultural significance. The sculpture’s placement on the Tarpeian Lawn in the Royal Botanic Gardens, overlooking Sydney Harbour on the Eastern Shore of Warrane (Circular Quay), echoes the nearby iconic structures – the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour.

O’Sullivan Conservation plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of ‘bara’. Our engagement spans regular condition assessments, monthly maintenance cleaning, and the annual removal and reapplication of a sacrificial protective coating to safeguard the sculpture. Additionally, we carry out conservation treatment to the joints, diligently address graffiti removal, and undertake localised honing to mitigate the impact of bat and bird droppings. OSC undertook painting of the lighting electrical box, employing an industrial coating system that harmonises with the surrounding environment. OSC has also overseen the transition from wood mulch to paving surrounding the artwork, reducing potential damage arising from dirt accumulation and unintended contact. OSC has developed an Environmental Management Plan to identify site-specific environmental risks and to ensure that the project adheres to environmental management principles, processes, procedures, and systems.

In 2023, ‘bara’ won the National Trust (NSW) Heritage Award in the category of Aboriginal heritage. O’Sullivan Conservation is proud to contribute to the care and conservation of this significant Sydney landmark.

For more information on ‘bara’, explore the official pages on the City of Sydney and UAP websites:
City of Sydney: ‘bara’
UAP: Judy Watson – ‘bara’

For narratives about the Eora fisherwomen and the symbolic ‘bara’ fish-hooks, visit the City of Sydney’s article: Great Eora Fisherwomen Remembered in ‘bara’ Artwork

BEFORE
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW conservation before treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW conservation over paint removal
Conservation colour matching mosaic tiles
DURING
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand UNSW Dalton Building after conservation
Douglas Annand UNSW Dalton Building after conservation
Douglas Annand UNSW Dalton Building after conservation
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
AFTER
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand UNSW mosaic conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment

Have a question?

O'Sullivan Conservation we provide expert conservation and preservation services that maintain and sustain cultural heritage. If you have a question about a project, give us a call on 0419 380 065 or alternatively fill out the enquiry form and we will get back to you promptly.

13 + 14 =

O’Sullivan Conservation acknowledges that we operate and function on the lands of the Darkinjung people.

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

We are proud partners of Reconciliation NSW and support reconciliation in our community.