A mysterious, aqueous space is contained or ‘tanked up’ behind glass. Tank’s glistening liquid light fills the 1920’s heritage display windows along the entire length of the Downing Centre’s underground tunnel. Curious optics obscure the source. Light dancing on vertical surface is reminiscent of light refracting and reflecting at the bottom of a pool.
Tank’s quietly repetitive motion offers a meditative respite from an erstwhile hectic passage through busy city streets. Its amorphous fluidity keeps pace with the flow of commuters as their reflections ‘float along’ watery subterranean windows.
The north side of the tunnel presents 35 metres of continuous illuminated ‘water’ windows. The south side has four smaller display cabinets. Backlit panels fuse text and images relating to Sydney’s early subterranean water networks with excerpts from early legal cases concerning subterranean waters. Together the illuminated windows create an experience that brings to life the forgotten department store architecture, highlights the subterranean nature of the space and reinterprets it in the light of the Downing Centre’s reuse as Law Courts.
Photography by Ian Hobbs Media.