Artist: Anne Graham
Curator: Sally Couacaud
Date Installed
Installed 2000
Martin Place (Stage 5), 2005 Martin Place, SYDNEY, 2000
Project: Sydney Sculpture Walk
Tags: Bronze, Site-specific, Water
Artist Website

Artwork Description

Set into granite paving is a stylised footprint of the Georgian houses once occupying the site at the Eastern end of Martin Place. Passage by Anne Graham acknowledges the architectural and cultural history of early Sydney, referencing surrounding Georgian buildings such as the Conservatorium, the Museum of Sydney, the Barracks and the Mint.

The earliest recorded dwellings on this site are two Georgian cottages documented by Joseph Fowles in his book Sydney 1848. The house plan is marked out by polished black granite paving and metal grilles lit from below, through which a light mist rises periodically, evoking ghost-like walls.

The three bronze bowls, reflection pools and fountains, represent Georgian washrooms. The shape of the bowl is inspired by ‘The Improved Sponging Pan, with turnover rim to prevent splashing’, from James McEwan & Co.’s Illustrated Catalogue. Georgian washrooms were placed at the back of the house, and water would have been carried up from the Tank Stream for use in the ablution area, kitchen and laundry of the original house.

The artist is particularly interested in the workings of the city as a metaphor for the living body, portrayed here by the water elements and mist which animates the site by rising and falling like breath.


Anne Graham lives and works in the Blue Mountains, West of Sydney. She has a Master of Art from Royal College of Art, 1973 and in 2007 received a PhD from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She works in performance and installation and has had a long commitment to studying the association between materials and memory.


Passage / Anne Graham / The earliest recorded dwellings on this site are two Georgian Cottages, documented / by Joseph Fowles in his book Sydney in 1848. The placement of the walls of the / original Houses is recalled by the inlaid granite floor plan. Rising from the floor plan / at certain times of the day will be ghostly walls of mist, in the evening these walls will / be illuminated to suggest the spaces occupied by past residents of this place. The / bronze bowls, reflection pools and fountains represent Georgian washrooms, the / shape from James McEwen’s illustrated catalogue. Georgian washrooms were / placed at the back of the house and water would be carried from the Tank Stream for / use in the kitchen and laundry. / Installed January 2000

Sydney Sculpture Walk

The Sydney Sculpture Walk was a major City of Sydney initiative for the 2000 Olympics and the 2001 Centenary of Federation, curated by Sally Coucaud.

Ten artworks were commissioned from leading Australian and international artists to form a circuit through the city from the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens, through East Circular Quay and the city streets to Martin Place.

Each artwork was site-specific, addressing the historical and cultural aspects of its location and contributing to an appreciation and understanding of the city’s environment, history and character.

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