Darlinghurst’s Green Park will soon play host to a memorial commemorating those who have died due to AIDS and HIV-related illnesses.
Commissioned by City of Sydney Council, the memorial is titled Memory Weave, and is effectively a garden within a garden that will be designed by artists and architects Vesna Trobec and Russell Rodrigo from Studio Trobec, who have previously designed prominent memorials including the Gay & Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Green Park and the NSW Police Memorial in The Domain.
The project has come about after the Darlo Darlings — a Darlinghurst and Surry Hills community group — petitioned to the City of Sydney in 2019 for a memorial as a tribute to those who lost their lives to AIDS and HIV, with the City resolving to go ahead with the artwork. WIth over 30 applications received from artists, landscape architects and other creatives, the memorial is a significant project that will honour the memory of those who have lost their lives due to the sexually transmitted diseases.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the artwork is an important marker in the social and cultural tapestry of Sydney’s inner east.
“Green Park holds special significance for the LGBTIQ communities of Sydney. It has long been a symbolic place to those who have lost family and loved ones to HIV and AIDS,” she says.
“Its location, close to St Vincent’s Hospital and the hospice where many people were cared for, means Green Park continues to represent a place of remembrance and healing.
“We are pleased to be able to formalise this element of the park, with the commissioning and selecting of this significant artwork as part of our recognition of the tragic losses suffered by many in our communities.”
The artwork’s design is likened to a three-dimensional quilt, that will feature a timeline of historical events as well as text denoting people’s individual experiences. Built from a shimmering palette of Corten steel, copper and concrete, Memory Weave will be set back from the Green Park concrete path to create a landscaped area within the grounds.
“Memory Weave is an open-ended narrative resonating with many stories and many voices,” artists Vesna Trobec and Russell Rodrigo explain.
“The frames hold memories of the shared experience of loss and recovery and offer different opportunities for engagement within the memorial space.
“Through an interweaving of text and archival images, the frames offer different points of gathering within the broader landscape, allowing for a range of personal and collective engagement and reflection.”
Work on the installation will start later this year.