You might have unknowingly stumbled by one of Reko Rennie‘s artworks on a less than upstanding night out on Oxford St. You might have even walked briskly by it on your way to your well-paid respectable job in the CBD. In any case, we’re 99% sure that one way or another, you’ve definitely seen it. Reko Rennie was commissioned to repaint this building for the City of Sydney’s 2012 Streetware program. If you were anywhere near the area you cannot have missed it. Fluro pink and blue stripes decorated the facade of the building right on Taylor Square. It looked cool, but Reko Rennie’s descriptions of his inspirations make it so much more interesting. The geometric diamonds are used as a reference to north-western NSW and the traditional markings of the Kamilaroi people. Finding out what the meaning of the text which ran across front was equally thought provoking. He explains it this way: “Across the front of the building façade, neon text (‘Always was, always will be’) is incorporated across the geometric diamonds. As a temporary work in this urban context the meaning is clear – this always was Gadigal country and always will be Gadigal.”
We really enjoyed working with Reko and his vibrant and provocative artwork. The visual aesthetic of his work is inspired by his indigenous heritage and the street art and graffiti scene that he became part of as a young man. His artwork is both a joyful celebration of his indigenous heritage and an aggressively political comment on the position of indigenous people in our contemporary society. The catalogue we created for him showcases the visual power of his artwork. We’ve printed the catalogue using two fluro spot colours on top of the normal four colour process, on to some thick, rich vellum paper, giving his bold and colourful graphics the impact they deserve.