Harbour Revisited

Barangaroo Installation

*Grace Karskens, The Colony: A History of Early Sydney, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2010

Posted by Eoin Connaughton on Jan 17, 2018

6th January 2018 

Barangaroo with it's inlet and point, a place named after an Eora tribal leader from early colonial days. The banner image above shows Molly & Jo participating in a public art installation. This involved taking water from the bay in buckets, freezing the water into fish shaped moulds and placing them into a rusty steel boat (representing the bark canoe). This act was a symbolic replenishment of fish into the harbour - an ephemeral lip service to the lost lifestyle of the Eora women.

'Barangaroo was a fisherwoman. Eora women like her were the main food providers for their families, and the staple food source of the coastal people around Sydney was fish.  ....the women fished from their bark canoes (nowie) with lines and hooks'. *

'Eora women's control of the food supply would have been essential to their status and self-esteem, as well as their power in society. So, what may have triggered Barangaroo's anger on first meeting the whites was fish. This meeting, on the north shore at Kirribilli in November 1790, coincided with a massive catch of 4,000 Australian salmon, hauled up in two nets.' *

Back to today - there is a massive installation (of the commercial development kind) underway in Darling Harbour and Barangaroo. Lendlease (Builders of the Opera House) are the lead developer.

Simon Mordant AM, Chair of the Lendlease Public Art Advisory Panel and Chair of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, says:
“Great public art enlivens the community - it creates a central conversation. For Barangaroo, a 21st century community is being created and it is vitally important that a conversation can happen across the whole community about the public art installed there.”

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