A new fabulous inflatable art installation will take pride of place at Taylor Square to mark four decades of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and cement the precinct’s place in its history.
Titled 40 Years of Love – which its creators describe as a “big, bold and sassy artwork based on concepts of public protest, joyous celebration, community activation and engagement” was announced as the winner of the Taylor Square Public Art Project by Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
The project winner, launched by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and proudly supported by the City of Sydney, is designed on a large triangular aluminium truss that rises above the existing grass island and water fountain to transform the space into a light-ﬁlled pavilion.
The installation, by artists Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg from art studio Goldberg Aberline Studio (GAS), invites those passing by the historic Darlinghurst precinct to stop, stretch out on the grass to view its complex detailed work, and ponder the Mardi Gras story.
“The Yes Campaign proved that Taylor Square was still an important meeting place for the LGBTQI community,” said Aberline and Goldberg. “Our artwork re-invigorates the Square as a focal point and meeting place, reminding us we have plenty to celebrate.”
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, expressions of interest were called for from artists to create a temporary public artwork. 40 Years of Love will be unveiled on the anniversary of the first Mardi Gras on Sunday 24 June 2018, and be installed for three months.
“The Taylor Square Public Art Project’s aim is to create a temporary piece of art that helps celebrate the defining moments shared over the last forty years of Mardi Gras, in an iconic location for the LGBTQI people of Sydney,” said Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu.
40 Years of Love “examines the themes of repression, adversity, freedom, diversity and equality” and was inspired by queer artists like Peter Tully, Brenton Heath-Kerr, Ron Muncaster, Keith Haring and Pierre et Gille.
“With the work’s vibrant energy and complexity, we share that Mardi Gras isn’t a singular thing but a cacophony of diverse ideas, people, histories, politics and expressions,” said Aberline and Goldberg.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was proud to support and celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. “This wonderfully exuberant work will light up the historical heart of our LGBTI community in Taylor Square,” said the Lord Mayor.
“What began as a bloody protest almost 40 years ago is now a three-week festival celebrating our diverse and resilient LGBTQI communities – acknowledging just how far we have come in the fight for equality and acceptance. What better way to commemorate that long history than this politically-charged, joyful work.
“I know Sydneysiders and visitors alike will love Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg’s colourful and celebratory work when it’s installed alongside our permanent rainbow flag later this year.”
The 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras continues to Sunday 4 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Artist Impression of 40 Years of Love – courtesy of Goldberg Aberline Studio