In 2016, Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones gained plenty of attention for a major public artwork as part of Kaldor Public Art Projects. Using 15,000 white ceramic shields, he traced the footprint of the Royal Botanic Garden’s 19th century Garden Palace, which was destroyed in a fire in 1882, taking with it a treasure trove of irreplacable Aboriginal artefacts. Now Jones is creating another major public work using a different kind of footprint.
Untitled (maraong manaóuwi) uses red and white gravel from Wiradjuri country to represent two familiar symbols: the maraong manaóuwi (the Gadigal term for ‘emu footprint’) and the English broad arrow insignia (representing British colonialism). They’ll be installed across 2,500 square metres of the Hyde Park Barracks courtyard from February 21. For three weeks, visitors will be invited to walk across the artwork, as the red and white gravel merges and disintegrates.