Chiaroscuro

For Chiaroscuro we explore Leichardt’s cultural trends, the traditional owners of the land and immigration patterns of the area. Collaboration Alessandra Rossi

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Client:

Inner west council

Location:

Norton Street Leichardt, NSW

Materials:

S/Steel, Plexi glass, LED

Dimensions:

20mx14mx2.5m

Completion Date:

2021

Chiaroscuro is a new gateway light work commissioned for Norton Street, Leichhardt. Artists Alessandra Rossi and Adam Cruickshank wanted to pay homage to the Italians who migrated to Leichhardt, particularly those drawn here in the 50s and 60s. This dynamic work comprises many beautiful coloured light cells, connected and suspended across Norton Street. The work symbolizes interconnectedness and reflects on the meaning of “chain migration”- with each light cell of varying size and colour - representing the individual Italians that decided to migrate here. Each Italian migrant had to find the courage to leave their known world behind – to follow the light of hope that drew them to leave the known behind. They left their homelands at a time when they had to travel on board an ocean liner for months, and the cost to travel may have taken months to save. The possibility of return much less likely than it might be today. Little would have been known of Australia. The global village that exists today did not exist at this time. Wall phones belonged only to the wealthy, and a letter by snail mail would take as long as an ocean liner to arrive. Chain migration meant that people had to travel with limited knowledge of their new countries, drawn primarily by what they knew from letters received in their village from relatives or friends. It was on this limited knowledge, and their connection to loved ones and friends that they too followed, creating another link in the chain. The Catholic Church offered another important link in the Leichhardt migration chain, when they saw the need to setup a support network for the newly arrived Italian community. This important role was tasked to the Capuchin Brothers, who commenced work from 1946 at St. Fiacres Church in Catherine Street, Leichhardt. The Brothers offered both a spiritual and social centre to the Italian community – a clear reason why a large number of Italians centred themselves in Leichhardt.

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Current Work

Chiaroscuro

For Chiaroscuro we explore Leichardt’s cultural trends, the traditional owners of the land and immigration patterns of the area. Collaboration Alessandra Rossi

No items found.
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