Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD is a must visit when staying in the city. I’m am so glad that I did one of the free tours which leaves from the vistor’s information centre at 11am every day as I would not have understood half of what the architects and artist had in mind without the information that I gained from the guide and the pamphlets she gave me.
Nearamnew is a huge artwork which is underfoot. It consists of three parts. Firstly – a whorl pattern which uses cobblestones from the Kimberly sandstone laid in a fashion to cause you to walk and be aware of location and place, linking land and water and global, regional and local aspects of our federally organised society.
Located within this whorl are nine ground visions and nine vision texts. As you walk you read and the place becomes alive as the treader becomes part of the place as they add their own voices, associations, memories and imaginings. The texts of the Nearamnew are written on angles and in layers symbolising the reality of places.
The pamphlet says (and I agree) ” As you tread, you just might have the sensation of walking in the footsteps of the many who have gone before, retracing the many discourses that have tracked through, over and under this site.
Paul Carter, the artist, had a great vision as he told the story of the site’s rich and conflicting heritage.