by Jude Paul, November 2021, from Bulletin 9/2021
One of the requirements of the DA for the development of Harold Park was that the water tank associated with the Rozelle Tram Yards be reinstated. Since Tramsheds was built, the Glebe Society has been trying to find out when this was going to happen, as the delay was considerable! I learnt yesterday that the reinstallation of the water tank became a separate DA to the original because stand-alone issues related to this were causing serious delays to the re-opening of the otherwise completed complex.
It seems that the negotiations between Mirvac, City of Sydney and the artist were lengthy and complex. The artist’s original design was to reinstate the water tank itself, raise it above ground and make it seem like it was ‘sort of flying away’. However, hairline cracks in the metal and the inability to guarantee the absolute safety of the new installation (and/or possibly the extraordinary cost of achieving this) meant this design was scrapped in favour of what we see.
How do I know this? Brian Fuller and I agreed to meet at the tank on 17 October and share our reactions to it. Because we thought it might be a bit of a long chat we brought our own chairs, ‘refreshments’ and partners. When our group met, the tank was being assiduously hosed down by a bloke wearing high viz. We got into a chat with him; the tank had been coated in fish oil which would settle down in about a month, but was currently collecting a lot of dust and the bloke was preparing the tank for some photos. Brian twigged pretty damned quickly – ‘Are you the artist?’ he asked.
You can guess the answer. Chris Fox is the most delightful, engaging man, currently working on a ‘green wall’ (his description) installation as part of the WestConnex complex. And he happily agreed to a snap or two of himself with Brian and I, but not before he scrapped his workman clothes for a more regular outfit.