University of Sydney lecturer, artist and sculptor Chris Fox has unveiled a major site-specific installation suspended from the ceiling above a bank of escalators inside Wynyard Station in Sydney's CBD.
The historic wooden escalators that served Sydney commuters at Wynyard Station for more than eight decades were removed this year. Now the iconic timber-structure has been reborn as part of a five-tonne floating sculpture titled Interloop.
Chris Fox, a senior lecturer in art processes and architecture in the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning commented: “Connecting yesterday and tomorrow, ‘Interloop’ interrogates the conceptual and material boundaries between art and architecture. It is a physical re-interpretation of the historic wooden-stepped Wynyard escalators initially built in 1931, that re-purposes the hardwood from the heritage treads of now retired escalators, into a sculpture weighing over five tonnes.”
The hovering sculpture at Wynyard loops together two pairs of reconfigured heritage escalators measuring more than 50 metres in length and incorporating 244 wooden escalator treads and 4 escalator combs.
Taking six months to design and engineer, the sculpture took 12 weeks to fabricate with over a kilometre of welding, before an intensive 48-hour installation period. Interloop is built from high strength marine grade aluminium and suspended via new steel beams installed into Wynyard Station. The wooden treads from the original escalators have been refastened to the accordion like aluminium surface.
Interloop floats above the heads of commuters as they travel on the escalators linking York Street to the main concourse level of Wynyard Station.
With the re-purposing of the wooden treads the sculpture aims to evoke memories of passengers and modes of travel from the past while conjuring complimentary ideas of journey and travel, start and finish, here and there, as well as past and future.
Chris Fox’s past works have playfully explored the technical and conceptual grammar of architecture and construction by altering sites through installation, object and drawing. He has exhibited in numerous solo, group and collaborative exhibitions in Australia, the USA and Europe, with an established sculptural practice of large-scale public and private commissioned artworks. Chris has recently completed a Master of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts.