Its Time

The project, It’s time, begins as a provocation to the spatial politics of memory taking its appearance from demise. The demise takes the form of a square that no longer exists with any formal boundary in the maps of Sydney but is part of the political folklore of a politician about to disappear. Dismissed Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s 1975 re-election rally on the corner of Oxford and College Streets in Hyde Park, Sydney, created a political stance that later became known, signed and later forgotten as Whitlam Square. 

The significance of the research brings to attention how design can reposition concepts of remembrance not as a reflective condition through historical reckoning but through eliciting public interaction in the present, informing both present and future remembrance. By establishing alternative interpretations on the politics of memory, the project focuses on the unprecedented shift in the Australian law and legal reforms from 1972-1975 under Gough Whitlam’s Labor Government, the then Attorney-General Lionel Murphy and constitutional writer Charles Comans. Concerned with the politics and aesthetics of reflection, representation and identity, the project takes the form of two public sculptures. The first sculpture located at southeastern corner of Hyde Park, the second situated within the parliamentary triangle of Canberra and adjacent to the High Court of Australia. Both sculptures are conceived to uncover and commemorate the relationships between law, place and civil society.

The visual form of the proposed public sculptures has been influenced from the now deceased mechanical writing device – the typewriter. The two sculptures, one formed from the hammers of the writing device and the other as its paper reciprocal, describe a relationship between the space of democratic voice, the drafting of constitutional acts, and the empowerment that these laws offered Australian society. Through indentations, reliefs, punctuations and the overlaying of the laws, a new communication is introduced; each a writing with the other.

Collaborators Thomas Cole, Adam Goodrum