Artists: Adam Norton, Unknown
Curator: Claire Taylor
Date Installed
Installed January 2021
Barrack Street, Sydney
Project: City Art Laneways

Barrack Street, North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Artwork Description

For this laneway project the artist, Adam Norton, mounts onto existing lampposts a series of slogans in the form of giant badges. The badges have an immediate sense of nostalgia to them, but their bright, pop construction placed in the present city centre creates new twisted meanings.

Adam’s work draws on archival materials that articulate imagined futures and the sources for Giant Badges span apocalyptic sci-fi films, pop and counterculture.

The badges speak directly to the uncanniness of how the climate and public health emergencies we have been living through in 2020 have been prefigured for decades – to the point that our current reality feels stranger than science fiction.

Slogans such as ‘Future Shock’ signal the individual and collective psychological states these emergencies have propelled us into and how deeply unsettling the rapid changes have been.

The candy colours, bold fonts and simple graphics make the artworks pop in the street, catching the eyes of passersby. The phrases in this new series are a direct response to our current circumstances. They still read as badges, despite their huge scale.

According to Noelle Faulkner, the badge, unlike a stamp, doesn’t centre itself on the act of creation, only the message it glorifies. It imbues the wearer with an inordinate amount of meaning. In this project, a city laneway wears the badges, celebrating the ethos of social, creative and cultural times past and our longing for them to return again.


Adam Norton
Adam Norton’s work explores the effects of technology on the human condition. He repurposes scientific ideas from the recent past and the near future to map out the psychogeography of our present. His eccentric devices are a prism through which to look at the conflicts and controversies of the era.

He uses paint, print, film and installation to present the most interesting narratives and ideas about our present condition and where we might be heading. He uses technology and science fiction as a narrative architecture for his ideas about mankind’s role in the universe.

Adam Norton is represented by Galerie pompom.

Curator and producer

Claire Taylor
Claire Taylor is a curator and producer with experience across the contemporary art sector. This includes cultural strategy, exhibitions, site-specific installations, public art, events, live art, curatorial research, publications, education projects, public programming, community arts and cultural development.


SIGNWAVE Newtown has over 20 years experience supporting the arts community across Sydney. Specialising in museum and gallery grade work, they understand the demanding timeframes and the quality required by artists and work with them to help bring their creations to life. They are committed to supporting Sydney and helping create a vibrant community.

Metal 4 U was established in 2005 by Jamie Clapham who was involved in metal spinning and manufacturing for 28 years. It is one of the most advanced metal spinning and manufacturing facilities of its kind in Australia.

Many thanks also to Scott Bowden from Signfix Australia for his advice during design development and to Who Dares.


City Art Laneways

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the City of Sydney invited thinkers and artists to create temporary public artworks that enliven our civic spaces.

We received a huge 230 responses from more than 200 artists. After much deliberation the evaluation panel recommended the proposals from 4 artist teams.

These artworks represent four very different responses to the artist brief. But together they provide bold, fresh and meaningful ways to reimagine city spaces and encourage Sydneysiders to rethink and revisit their city.

The City Art Laneways temporary public art program runs from January to March 2022.

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