Artist: Kerrie Poliness
Curator: Amanda Sharrad
Date Installed
Installed 15 October 2022
Bounded by Zetland Avenue, Portman Avenue, Geddes Street and Paul Street, Zetland
Project: Green Square Public Art Program
Tags: Light, Water

97-103 Portman Street, ZETLAND, 2017

Artwork Description

Several years in the making, the artwork evolved through time. Working with the park designer McGregor Coxall, Stream adjusts, settles and shifts with changes to the landscape features.

Stream was inspired by the ongoing relationship the Drying Green site has to water: once integral to a complex wetland system, obstructed by a dam for early industry, then submerged as a storm water culvert, it is now central to the wetland reconstructed within the park. Stream is a highly integrated artwork consisting of intersecting straight lines forming a meandering glass pathway across the Drying Green. The flexible diamond structures within the lawn, paths and steps incorporate 6 colours to achieve 2 colour zones within the park.

Resembling a rainbow spectrum, the specific wavelengths of light selected for the central park location are cyan, yellow and pink. The entrance area on the corner of Zetland Avenue and Paul Street features violet, green and orange. The surface of the coloured glass is soft like sea-glass worn down by water, complementing the textures and colours of surrounding stone and tiles. Stream responds to changes in the weather, with the intensity of the artwork’s colours shifting  considerably in response to light and water. Powered by solar panels installed on the nearby barbecue shelter, at night the elegant geometric features inherent to the artwork offer a spectacular re-reading of the park’s strong origami features as experienced during the day. Stream responds boldly to the variety of forms, textures and colours found throughout the park.

The artwork is conceptually linked to local ecology and history. Stream’s geometry of waves reflect upon the manifestation of waves across water, sound, energy, light, geomorphology and migration. Waves can relate to physical movement and transfer of energy or  a metaphor for the phases of history and culture, in constant motion and transition.

Stream also refers to the active process of following physical and conceptual paths and making connections. The work evokes the flow and collection of knowledge, the forming of ideas, the evolution of stories and the interlinking layers of history.

The illuminated coloured glass pathway system is a bespoke innovation that required close collaboration with a team of creative expert engineers and industrial designers at Event Engineering and Electrolight to achieve and refine the artwork design.

Project team

  • Event Engineering
  • Electrolight
  • McGregor Coxall
  • Regal Innovations
  • City of Sydney


Kerrie Poliness is a leading contemporary Australian artist based in Melbourne. Her practice includes instructional wall and field drawings, and research-based projects investigating the natural and social histories of places. Through her investigations into systems, repetition, geometry and abstract art, Poliness embraces the inherent differentiation and asymmetry of all objects and the impossibility of perfect mass production. Wave drawings, such as Stream, combine both strands of the artist’s practice.

Green Square Public Art Program

The Green Square town centre is the heart of an evolving inner-city region.

The City of Sydney is responsible for several major projects in and around the town centre.

Art is a priority to ensure an inviting and vibrant place for existing and new Green Square residents, workers and visitors.

The Green Square public art strategy by curatorial advisor Amanda Sharrad is a program of permanent and temporary art projects that aims to connect with  communities and address the historical, cultural and ecological elements of the site.

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