An enormous mural spanning 335 square meters and reaching 11 storeys high has been unveiled on the side of a new building in Sydney’s CBD. Ripples and Dropletsby Colombian-Australian artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso, is believed to be the largest public artwork by an Australian artist in the Sydney CBD.
The work is emblazoned on a new 36-storey residential tower, Castle Residences, on the corner of Bathurst and Castlereagh Streets. Designed to be seen from below, or across the street, the work is splashed on the building’s north-facing wall, above a lane that runs between the building and the soon-to-open Porter House Hotel next door.
Cardoso worked with the building’s architect Angelo Candalepas and public-art curator Amanda Sharrad to bring the work to life. Hand-painted using a long-lasting mineral paint, then installed via a series of large-scale panels, the work features circles and spirals that evoke the geometry of the natural world – ripples on a pond or the threads of a spider web.
The beauty of natural forms has been a regular muse during Cardoso’s decades-long career. Past works have seen her train fleas for a “flea circus” and create an installation in Zetland that featured Queensland bottle trees alongside sculptures carved from 4000 cubic meters of Sydney sandstone.
To craft the mural, Cardoso used a hybrid painting-drawing technique she invented herself, in which she distributes paint from a container via a plastic tube and needle, creating a droplet-like effect as she draws lines on whichever surface she’s painting.
“When I started to make public art, I just felt at such ease,” said Cardoso in a statement. “I had prepared all my life for it. In a public space, scale is very important, because most things go unperceived. The scale makes them visible. The patterns are like ripples in water, and if you look closer, there are droplets. My concept from the beginning was about painting as a fluid. That is why it has ended up being ripples and droplets.”
See Ripples and Droplets at 116 Bathurst Street, Sydney.