Heritage, 2013

Winner: Highly Commended 2015

MEDIUM wood, bolts and wingnuts
DIMENSIONS 350 x 620 x 420cm

Sandra Nyberg’s work Heritage was highly commended by the judges who noted the work was:

“Sparse, yet with a commanding use of materials and colour. The artwork is conceptually resonate and establishes strong relationships to the site.”

During my artist in residence stay in Hill End (NSW) in 2013, I became fascinated with the style of building typical for the area. I learnt that even new buildings are under strict rules of how they are to be built, from which materials can be used to the overall architectural shape of the construction.

Much has changed in the old gold-mining town, the population dramatically decreasing after the ‘golden days’ and a lot of artists moving into the area over the years, bringing their influence both to the cultural history of the town as well as physically with buildings being converted or built specifically to serve as studios or artists homes.

Nevertheless, all buildings, old and new, seemed to fit in seamlessly into the historical landscape of the town, honouring the heritage and keeping its historic atmosphere. Inspired by this truly unique combination I decided to make this meeting of heritage vs. contemporary art/design the focus for my installation.

The light wood color, the simple structure as well as the method of attaching the elements to each other are often present in the celebrated and famous Scandinavian design. With this reference to popular design, I wanted to visualize the contemporary nature of the town and thus emphasize its unique symbiosis to the historical heritage of Hill End architecture. The structure of the work – a simple unfilled house frame – underlines what used to be; the cottages and their inhabitants now long gone.

Heritage serves as a reminder of the (European) history in the region even further and paying tribute to the unique 19th century architecture of the area.