Friday 2 October 2015

Yurong Water Gardens

The Yurong Water Garden is an environmental artwork inspired by the Yurong Stream that once ran close to the edge of Cook and Phillip Park through the mangrove mud-flats down into Woolloomooloo Bay. The Yurong Stream itself was sourced up at the head of the Wooloomooloo Valley (the Darlinghurst escarpment), close to the gaol. It meandered down, under William Street via a culvert, and into the increasingly putrid head of Wooloomooloo Bay.

It was joined at the back of St Mary's Cathedral by an unnamed (but steep) tributary. Roughly hewn boulders of sandstone and original pavers and rocks from the landscape have been arranged to form a course for the "stream" which flows down three terraces of gardens retracing the path of the original tributary. The use of sandstone reflects the cultural and natural heritage of the surrounding area. Both the Yuromg Strem and the tributary have ceased to exist since the 1860s, when they were converted into the Wooloomooloo Sewer. It is hard to believe that these shots are in the centre of my city. The serenity of the area nowadays, could be taken as an abject apology for our cavalier approach to their bounty during the 19th century.

The installation was devised by Anita Glesta together with Spackman & Mossop, and installed in July 1999.


William Kendall said...

We hear of streams like this that were covered over with culverts, or their watersheds often deforested, that no longer exist. This spot looks peaceful.

Jim said...

Fantastic, Julie. I've wanted to take photos here for ages but haven't yet.