For the 32nd Kaldor Public Art Project Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist and UNSW Art & Design alumnus Jonathan Jones is creating barrangal dyara (skin and bones), a vast sculptural installation stretching across 20,000 square-metres of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.    

The Project will recall the 19th century Garden Palace building where it originally stood in the Royal Botanic Garden between 1879 and 1882, before it burnt to the ground along with thousands of Aboriginal objects collected along the colonial frontier. The project is Jones’ response to the immense loss felt throughout Australia due to the destruction of these countless culturally significant items. It represents an effort to commence a healing process and a celebration of the survival of the world’s oldest living culture despite traumatic events like this.

In the lead-up to the barrangal dyara (skin and bones) exhibition, a series of three Spot Fire Symposia are being held to discuss the themes that have emerged for Jones during the creation of this exhibition and the overarching Project. The symposia extend the reach of the Project and express the complexities of the ideas it presents. 

On Saturday 16 July, the second Spot Fire Symposium – Spectacle, manifestation, performance will be held to consider the history of spectacle in Sydney and interrogate the grandiose cultural vision that promoted the Australian colonies to the world. 

Symposium speakers include:

Uncle Charles Madden, Gadigal Elder 
Uncle Allen Madden, Gadigal Elder 
Jonathan Jones, Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist 
Dr Linda Young, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, Deakin University 
Dr Peter Kohane, Senior Lecturer in Architectural Studies, Architecture and Urban Typologies, UNSW 
Steven Miller, Head of Library Services, Art Gallery of New South Wales 
Wesley Enoch, Sydney Festival Director 2017-2019 
Russell Smith, Ngarrindjeri actor 
Dr Ilaria Vanni, Senior Lecturer, International Studies Program, University of Technology Sydney 
Cara Pinchbeck, Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales 
Clotilde Bullen, Assistant Producer, Yirra Yaakin Theatre 

While the symposium, Spot Fire Symposium 2 – Spectacle, manifestation, performance, is booked out, it will be live-streamed from 10am Saturday 16 July, and documentation of each talk will be hosted online at Kaldor Art Projects following the event. 

This symposia series has been developed in collaboration with academic Ross Gibson, Centenary Professor of Creative & Cultural Research at the University of Canberra, and will take place at three cultural institutions with historic connections to the Garden Palace and International Exhibition: the State Library of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Australian Museum. 

UNSW Art & Design and Kaldor Public Art Projects are longstanding cultural partners. Later this year UNSW Art & Design will once again be education partner with Kaldor Public Art Projects for their 32nd project by UNSW alumnus Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones.