A garden within a garden will be installed in Green Park opposite St Vincent’s Hospital to commemorate those who died of AIDS and HIV-related illnesses. Memory Weave is a new City of Sydney-commissioned memorial by artists and architects Vesna Trobec and Russell Rodrigo from Studio Trobec.
The project came about after the Darlo Darlings community group petitioned the City of Sydney in 2019 for a memorial as a tribute to those who lost their lives to AIDS and HIV related illnesses, with the City resolving to go ahead with the artwork. Artists, landscape architects and other creative practitioners were invited to share their ideas, with over 30 applications received.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the artwork was an important marker in the social and cultural tapestry of Sydney’s inner east. “Green Park holds special significance for the LGBTIQ communities of Sydney. It has long been a symbolic place to those who have lost family and loved ones to HIV and AIDS,” said the Lord Mayor.
“Its location, close to St Vincent’s Hospital and the hospice where many people were cared for, means Green Park continues to represent a place of remembrance and healing. We are pleased to be able to formalise this element of the park, with the commissioning and selecting of this significant artwork as part of our recognition of the tragic losses suffered by many in our communities.”
The artwork will be designed as a three-dimensional quilt featuring a timeline of historical events as well as text denoting people’s individual experiences.
“Memory Weave is an open-ended narrative resonating with many stories and many voices,” said artists Vesna Trobec and Russell Rodrigo. “The frames hold memories of the shared experience of loss and recovery and offer different opportunities for engagement within the memorial space.
“Through an interweaving of text and archival images, the frames offer different points of gathering within the broader landscape, allowing for a range of personal and collective engagement and reflection.”
Built from finishes such as Corten steel, copper and concrete, Memory Weave will be set back from the Green Park concrete path to create a landscaped area within the grounds.
Members of the Studio Trobec team are behind prominent memorials including the Gay & Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Green Park and the NSW Police Memorial in The Domain. Work on the installation will start later this year.
Image: Memory Weave (Rear View) – courtesy of Russell Rodrigo and Vesna Trobec / Studio Trobec