Artist: Sonia van de Haar
Date Installed
Installed 2013
Prince Alfred Park Pool, Surry Hills, Sydney

Artwork Description

The art here is the art of the double act – of mimicry and diversion, of appearing and disappearing, of being part of a building and part of a landscape, of being part machine and part plant, or part chimney and part sky.

– Sonia van der Haar

Shades of Green is a fun yet functional artwork created as part of the upgrade to the public swimming pool in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park in 2013.

The work consists of wide bands of colour painted on six chimneys. It is intended to be noticed in passing, rather than to be a destination for park and pool users.

The chimneys stand tall above the grassy berm that covers the pool buildings and hides the pool from the street beyond, in a cluster that deliberately echoes a stand of trees. Their design is one of several features, or ‘follies’ intended to bestow a fun, playful character to the pool precinct.

The colours of Shades of Green reflect those of the landscape around the chimneys – the greens of the trees and grasses, and the bright blue of the summer sky and the water in the hidden pool beyond. Meanwhile, the chimney bases are painted metallic silver, acknowledging their industrial function.

The artist, Sonia van de Haar, describes the chimneys as “serious and functional creatures who have dressed up for an outing.”


Sonia van de Haar

Sonia van de Haar was born in Wollongong, NSW.

She studied painting at the Canberra Institute of the Arts, ANU; architecture at the University of NSW, and fresco painting at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.

Van de Haar works between colour, architecture and art, and has undertaken a broad range of projects, from architecture and colour consultancies to large scale public art and infrastructure projects, in Australia and the UK.

Her specialisation and approach to colour in the built environment has resulted in ongoing relationships with some of Sydney’s leading architecture and design firms, and to multiple awards.

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