Site Works A reconstructed vision of the city

Text: Joseph Earp

Sydney is a city under construction – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it always has to look like one. In an effort to bring to life the numerous building sites dotted around the CBD, the City of Sydney has compelled construction companies to decorate the outside of their sites with the work of ten bold local artists as part of a new initiative.

Where there were once ugly concrete walls, now there are paintings of glaciers; of Australia’s birdlife; of the Sydney Opera House, captured in earthy browns and reds.

“Art affects people’s feelings, and this creates emotional connections to public spaces,” says Camilla De Gregorio, a painter who works under the name Egg Picnic. Her bold mural, Birds of Australia, is one of the pieces selected for the creative hoardings project punningly titled Site Works. De Gregorio speaks of an underlying wish to “empower city dwellers” and using art as tool for “the shaping of a better future – by speaking from a position of hope.”


Camilla De Gregorio’s ‘Birds of Australia’. Image credit: City of Sydney

Danling Xiao, another artist, agrees in her own quiet way. “What drew me to the project was very simple. Any [construction] might take years, so I just wanted to give a little colour and delight to people while we are all going to this transition together.”

And colour is the key. After all, even if Sydney sometimes feels like one big mess of stained concrete and one-way glass, it’s nice to think there are people out there breaking up the barrage of greys, bringing a little splash of change into the picture.


*This story was sponsored and created in partnership with the City of Sydney.


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