Art & About: Top5Feet

Last night I was pleased to launch "Top5Feet" as the first of this year's Art & About artworks, in one of the city's much-loved spaces.

At dusk, from now until 20 May, a giant light box and projection artwork will run the entire breadth of the eastern chamber of Paddington Reservoir Gardens.

Reflective lighting from the lower floor creates an illusion that the reservoir is full of water. Watery sounds and a projection of an imaginary swimmer complete the transformation, turning the reservoir into an unmeasurable swimming pool.

The name "Top5Feet" refers to the history of the reservoir. Its limited elevation meant that when it was in operation, only the top five feet of water could be pumped out to service the houses. When it was completed in 1866, it held two million gallons.

With the swimmer featured in the artwork.

With Cassie Egan, the swimmer featured in the artwork.

Art & About has a long history of bringing art works from all disciplines into places where they might least be expected, giving locals and visitors alike a new way of seeing and experiencing the city.

When the roof of Paddington Reservoir suffered a collapse in 1993, the City was determined to restore the heritage-listed reservoir as public space. Working with architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, it has now become the fantastic, multi-award winning park and gardens. Top5Feet highlights its stunning features and is sure to captivate local audiences.

The artist behind Top5Feet, Dale Jones-Evans, has many achievements in design, architecture, furniture making, publishing and has twice represented Australia at the Venice Biennale. He was supported by a team from Axolotl, who are also wide-ranging and innovative in their work, pioneering processes for applying creative surfaces to metal, concrete, glass and timber, using 100 per cent recycled materials.

I hope you will get along to Paddington Reservoir Gardens and experience this artwork - the City's newest swimming pool.

When & Where
29 April - 20 May
From Dusk
Paddington Reservoir Gardens
Cnr Oxford Street and Oatley Road

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