Artist
Artist: Caroline Rothwell
Curator
Curators: Adam Porter, Vi Girgis
Location
Intersection with Barrack Street / Martin Place, SYDNEY, 2000
Project
Project: Laneway/City spaces
Tag
Tag: Bronze
Artist Website

Artwork Description

These Youngsters have uncanny, yet acceptable, presence in an urban environment. Passersby may think they see a familiar scene in a familiar bronze sculpture, but the stasis, scale and the detail rupture such familiarity, creating a re-engagement with the objects and their surroundings.

– Vi Virgis and Adam Porter, Curators

Caroline Rothwell’s two Youngsters in Barrack Street play on the monumentalism of bronze sculpture in urban spaces, as well as preconceptions about identity.

Youngsters stand within the trajectory of monumental bronze sculpture. The drapery, the shoes, and the contrapposto of one figure, are all influenced by art history from ancient classical sculpture to Rodin. Yet the forms, the baggy pants, hoodies, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, and handstand of the other figure, are contemporary.

The figures undermine expectations and subvert stereotypes. They represent small children dressed in hoodies and baggy jeans; one standing, the other hand-standing. They are purposefully diminutive; vulnerable, yet powerful.

Upon closer inspection, the standing child has plaited hair, further undermining social expectations. The interiors of the hoods and clothes are coated with casts of quartz and coal, making a subtle comment upon Australia’s mineral economy.

Artist

Caroline Rothwell lives and works in Sydney. She works in two and three dimensions, often using unique fabrication methods. Youngsters are a continuum of the themes Rothwell has been exploring in her recent work, with the surreal and fictitious encroaching on the realistic and scientific.

COMMISSION

Youngsters was first shown as part of the Laneways Temporary Art Program 5 on view from October 2012- January 2013. This popular work was subsequently acquired into the City of Sydney collection.

Laneways Temporary Art Program 5 - City Spaces

The Laneways Temporary Art Program ran from 2008 to 2013.

It aimed to activate the laneways, inject new energy into the urban life and stimulate creativity and innovation in the city.

The fifth Laneways program was titled City Spaces. Artists, architects and curators were invited to test their ideas for the lanes and spaces directly adjacent to George Street, in anticipation of its pedestrianisation and the light rail project.

It consisted of four artworks. Two of the projects, Youngsters and City Wilderness Trail, were curated by Vi Girgis and Adam Porter.

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