On show now: Intersections in Surry Hills

Artist Ian Strange brings his striking light installation to Sydney as part of Art & About.

Multidisciplinary artist Ian Strange is known for his large-scale exhibitions that unsettle our understanding of the home. His latest work in the series Intersections has just landed in Surry Hills as part of the City of Sydney’s Art & About program.

Ian Strange's collaborative new work, Intersections. Photo by Ian Strange.

Intersections sees 120m of LED light beams dramatically break through a house in Surry Hills. Appearing to go through walls, bedrooms, kitchen, floors, hallways and the ceiling, the installation will create a spectacular light show visible to passers-by on the street.

On show for just 2 weeks, this is the largest installation to date of Strange’s ongoing Intersections series, don’t miss it.

We caught up with Strange ahead of coming to Sydney to install his work. Here’s what he had to say.

“Public art is really important to the fabric of the city.”

For Strange, cities with active public art programs are always richer. “I think public art is incredibly important. It’s about what gets to occupy a public space. It allows moments of reflection, introspection and wonder,” he said.

The wonderful thing about artists is that generally they’re not asking you to do anything other than consider the artwork. It’s not a billboard, it’s not an activation, the artist isn’t trying to sell you anything or make you do anything other than offer your own considerations and thoughts.

Intersections is on busy Marlborough Street in Surry Hills. “I think what’s so wonderful is that so many different people will encounter the art and each will have a different relationship with it. Whether on foot, or by light rail – a lot of people will pass by Intersections each day.”

“What’s great about working in public spaces is that people are not expecting to encounter an intervention or an artwork. It’s usually a surprise.”

For the past 10 years Strange has created works around the world which deconstruct and subvert our understanding of the home and domestic architecture.

Ian Strange exhibit at Lyon Museum in 2019. Photo by Ian Strange.

“Intersections explores how by breaking through the walls of the home, you interrogate our notions of safety.”

“Everyone has a relationship to the notion of home. It’s universal. Creating interventions directly on the home plays with that iconography,” Strange said.

Strange recommends going to see the artwork when it’s dark. “During the day the lines will be apparent, but by dusk and dawn, once street and car lights begin to interact with the work, it will be the most impactful time to see it.”

“With my public works I am always trying to create work that responds to the context of the area, but has aspects of universality. This allows the works to read locally, but also acknowledge our universal understanding of that architectural language.

“A lot of architecture and how we create space and buildings comes from drawing. How we change the natural environment with perspective lines. The house is a very human construct that puts really rigid lines into the natural environment,” he said.

Photo by Ian Strange

By placing these lines of light back into the environment, Strange asks the viewer to consider the effect of the hand-drawn line on the landscape. In particular, perspective lines and their relationship to art and architecture as a way of both understanding, interpreting and affecting landscape.

As soon as the art becomes large-scale, you need a group of experts to bring it to life.

Adrian Shapiro, Scoundrel Projects; Ian Strange; Simon Robinson, OFFICE; Holly Winter, Scoundrel Projects. Photo by Michaela Skovranova

Intersections is a collaborative work by Strange, working with his long-term collaborators: design studio, OFFICE, Scoundrel Projects, and creative producer, Jedda Andrews.

Part of Art & About – a City of Sydney program that makes art accessible to all – this is the first piece of public art to be released by the program since the pandemic.

You can see Intersections at 12 Marlborough Street, Surry Hills until 4 July.

Find this artwork and others nearby using the Sydney Culture Walks app.

Covid-19 update

Stay at home orders are now in place for Greater Sydney.

See the venues of concern identified by NSW Health.

No access to the building is permitted.

Posted . Last updated .

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