Hyde Park Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial
The paths appear as goat paths, not mapped for everyone. They act as an additional engagement point to the thoroughfare paths.
Why does the boomerang form remind me of a swastika? It’s a symbol of heritage, but it remains a way to keep people apart.
The form is a boomerang from above, made more evident by the smaller boomerangs embedded in the site. It is an obvious reference to Aboriginality, just as the bullets are an obvious reference to war. This site doesn’t mix its messages. Is it condescending, or direct?
(12, 20-45 year olds) People engage as tourists, reading or taking photos and moving on. They rarely stay longer than 3 minutes. The older people in particular(5, 45+ year olds) don’t take photos but engage similarly. The nearest smokers (2) are engaged only with themselves and their business, not with the park itself or the monument. The seek isolation, not anything in particular.
You wouldn’t touch an indoor sculpture. An outdoor sculpture can take it. It is made for climbing, rubbing, kicking, abrasives and cleaning.
They discus it. What do they get from it?
One man takes time. He is contemplative. This engagement must be more intense alone. This means more to him.
What is he thinking? Is there a connection to his past, or is that simply a reflection of me seeing his age? He judges the site, and I pass judgements on him.
This young couple has a child. They stay for over 15 minutes.
The father engages while caring for his daughter. He touches out of curiosity. And shows his daughter how to clean the site with her hands.
The mother is apathetic. She turns her back to the site, to her child and husband. It’s time for a break.
The daughter plays. If she isn’t engaged with the site itself, the ground is just as exciting. Looking up to the 30 ft bullets is just as cool as the gravel path. Everything is rad today.
The worker (1 male, 35+ years old) is apathetic to the sites meaning. He cleans around it, taking his time. He seems equally disinterested in the work.
(X) Others move along oblivious to the site and its meaning.
A (1) man (18-21 years old, student?) avoids the main paths by taking the goat path. This is simply his fastest route. He is familiar and not engaged with the site.
The multiplicity of birds are the owners of the space. The ibis care about nothing but food, unfazed by anything else around.
The light hits the bullets, illuminating the sculptures, differing constantly, in contrast to the forms 360º uniformity.