On September 17 the widely anticipated 32nd Kaldor Public Art Project, a vast sculptural installation stretching across 20,000 square-metres of the Royal Botanic Garden by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones titled barrangal dyara (skin and bones) opens to the public. 

The Project recalls the 19th century Garden Palace building where it originally stood in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, before it devastatingly burnt to the ground destroying countless Aboriginal objects collected along the colonial frontier. 

Thousands of bleached white shields will echo the masses of rubble - the only remnants of the building after the fire - raising the layered history and bones of the Garden Palace across the site. A native kangaroo grassland will form the heart of the installation which will be activated and enlivened by presentations of Aboriginal language, performances, talks, special events and workshops each day. 

The lead-up to barrangal dyara (skin and bones) has included a richly informative series of three Spot Fire Symposia discussing themes that have emerged for Jones during the creation of this exhibition and the overarching Project. These symposia have extended the reach of the Project and expressed some of the complexities of the ideas the work explores and raises and can be accessed on the project website.

Members of Aboriginal communities are respectfully advised that this exhibition recalls the loss of cultural objects from across the south-east of Australia.

Learn more about how you can participate in this major project that celebrates the resilience and survival of the world’s oldest living cultures.

A graduate of UNSW Art & Design Jonathan Jones won the 'Your Very Good Idea' competition hosted by Kaldor Public Art Projects to mark their 45th anniversary. The competition invited artists to submit proposals for site-specific artworks in Sydney. Jones' project was selected from more than 160 proposals.

Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones is one of the most celebrated contemporary Indigenous artists working today. His work has been exhibited in more than 60 major Australian and international art museums, galleries, festivals and biennales.  Jonthan has won numerous large-scale public art commissions and his work has been extensively collected by both major public institutions and leading private collections. These include the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, National Gallery of Canada, Biennale of Sydney, Art Hong Kong and the Palazzo delle Papesse Contemporary Art Centre, Siena, Italy.  His work is held in numerous private and corporate collections including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Naomi Milgrom Art Collection, Chartwell Collection and Westpac.

UNSW Art & Design and Kaldor Public Art Projects are longstanding cultural partners. UNSW Art & Design is once again an education partner with Kaldor Public Art Projects for their 32nd project.