Interloop wins National Trust Heritage awards
08 May, 2018
Wynyard Station’s captivating artwork Interloop, an immense overhead twist of historic wooden escalator steps, has picked up two National Trust Heritage Awards.
Chris Fox is the artist behind the gravity-defying artwork, which has become a social media sensation and captured the imagination of admirers across the globe.
Working on such a historic piece of Sydney held special significance for Chris.
“The Wynyard escalators are a particularly unique material, as they are connected to the history and identity of our city,” he said.
“It was extraordinary to work with a material that holds so many memories and past journeys.
“It’s very exciting for Transport for NSW to commission such a large-scale iconic sculptural project. Ambitious visual arts projects as part of our urban infrastructure are crucial in creating an identity for the city and enriching the experience of Sydney.”
The sculpture loops together two pairs of reconfigured escalators more than 50 metres long and incorporates 244 wooden treads and four combs from the station’s original wooden escalators.
Weighing more than five tonnes and taking six months to design and engineer, the sculpture took 12 weeks to fabricate with over a kilometre of welding, before an intensive 48-hour installation period.
“Interloop reconfigures the heritage escalators in a stitched form, suspended between two ends of the building,” Chris said.
“The project signifies the past and future journeys that have occurred at this site. The old escalators had been there for over eighty years and before they were removed they held this sense of time and journeys, of time and travel.
“Interloop resembles, in part, the original escalators but something else is occurring, too: there’s this otherworldly space that occurs above people’s heads.”
Chris also wanted to explore the idea that people are stationary on an escalator whilst also travelling.
“The escalator allows for a moment of pause that occurs mid-motion. I wanted the sculpture to resonate with people in this state, to reference all those journeys that have passed and are now interlooping back,” he said.
Interloop picked up awards in the Education and Interpretation category and also took out the overall Judges Choice Award.
“This project sets a wonderful precedent for heritage interpretation, where an artist can work in a poetic and flamboyant way yet hold the reverence for this extraordinary heritage material,” Chris said.
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