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The Distance of Your Heart, Tracey Emin – City of Sydney

2020
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment

PROJECT OVERVIEW

 

Internationally renowned artist Tracey Emin was commissioned by the City of Sydney to create ‘The Distance of Your Heart’ for their City Centre Public Art Program. Installed in 2018, over 60 small bronze birds are scattered throughout the heart of Sydney’s CBD, along Bridge Street and atop Grosvenor Street. Perched on lamp posts, windowsills, building ledges and under park benches, they are modest in size yet wield an extraordinary ability to draw attention to architectural features that may otherwise escape the gaze of passers-by. Nestled in Macquarie Place Park, the installation also includes a large sandstone birdbath inscribed with the artwork’s title, “The Distance of Your Heart”, with a single bronze bird perched on its rim.

O’Sullivan Conservation has been engaged to carry out the conservation maintenance program, including condition assessment, and conservation treatment of the bronze, including cleaning and hot-wax application. The assessments report on each element’s condition, fixings, dirt, corrosion, damage, missing elements, and occasional vandalism. Regular maintenance is also undertaken, including gentle surface cleaning and washing, accretion removal, corrosion removal, treatment with corrosion inhibitor, and applying protective wax coatings.

The intimate scale of this artwork is a counter to the monumental sculpture often associated with public art. As Emin explains, “Public sculpture can be about something really delicate and intimate and special”. The small bronze sculptures are life-size and tactile, making them readily touched and interacted with by the public. “I know that when people first see them, they’ll think they’re real. And I also know people will touch the birds as well, and (they) actually feel really nice to hold.” Recognising and preserving the interactive nature of these works through regular conservation maintenance is important for realising the artist’s intent.

For more information and videos on ‘The Distance of Your Heart’, visit the City of Sydney’s website: City of Sydney: ‘The Distance of Your Heart’

 

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

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