Your Very Good Idea Announced

Art Life , News Sep 11, 2014 No Comments

JJ portrait Kallan MacLeod ii-2

If you were wondering how that Kaldor Projects call for good ideas was going, wonder no more. Jonathan Jones, artist and an acolyte of the very hard to pull off t-shirt-and-scarf look, has been announced the winner…

Sydney, Australia: Sydney-based Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones was announced today as the winner of Kaldor Public Art Projects’ 45th anniversary project, YOUR VERY GOOD IDEA. Jones’ proposal to create a large-scale, temporary art project for Sydney was selected from 160 ambitious applications from Australian artists who submitted ideas for the first ever open call issued by Kaldor Public Art Projects.

The winning entry, which will be presented in the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, in 2016, has been described as being on par in both ambition and scale with the best of Kaldor Public Art Projects’ past projects.

John Kaldor, Director and Founder of Kaldor Public Art Projects said: “Jonathan Jones’ very good idea is a most ambitious project that resonates with historic, social and cultural concepts. It will bring back to life an important colonial and indigenous history lost to Sydney. In scale and concept it reminds me of our very first project, Christo and Jean-Claude’s,Wrapped Coast, 45 years ago.”

Jonathan Jones is a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of south-east Australia. He is best known for his site-specific installations and interventions that explore indigenous traditions, relationships and ideas. For YOUR VERY GOOD IDEA, Kaldor Public Art Projects will realise Jones’ large-scale, temporary art project titled barrangal dyara (skin and bones), a re-imagination of the historic Garden Palace which stood in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, in the 19th century.

Completed in 1879, the Garden Palace was a grand structure built in the Botanic Gardens to host a world fair known as the Sydney International Exhibition. Under suspicious circumstances, the Garden Palace was engulfed by fire three years later in 1882, destroying vast amounts of cultural material including thousands of significant indigenous Australian items. Jones’ project will reflect upon this forgotten part of Sydney’s history, reminding Australians of the deep void in our nation’s indigenous cultural and material memory.

Jonathan Jones commented on his winning concept: “While the grand nineteenth-century Garden Palace in Sydney, its history and site, speaks to industrial progress and modernisation, its dramatic and mysterious burning down and the massive loss of material held and displayed within, reminds of the power of cultural erasure and the significance of memory.”

Jones’ concept, a re-imagination the Garden Palace animated by evocative spoken word and performance, will reveal the significant cultural histories that were lost through the ruin of the Garden Palace.

Jones’ winning proposal was unanimously selected by a judging panel of prestigious curators from Australia and overseas, who assessed the ambition, originality and conceptual strength of the submissions.

Andrew Frost

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