In Through the Out Door

Related to City Art
Installed 2024
A fire exit doorway on a brick building is adorned with a large, diamond-shaped tile mosaic.
People with umbrellas walk past a doorway in a brick building. The doorway has been decorated with an arc-shaped mosaic of green and blue tiles patterned to depict fan-like folds.
Close view of tiles. Red and orange tiles form upwards-pointing chevrons in vertical lines, with a diamond pattern of green and blue tiles in between them.

Rear doorways in city laneways reimagined as familiar yet strange portals to other worlds.

Artist: Callum Morton
Curator: Barbara Flynn

Artwork description

In Through the Out Door reimagines 3 rear doorways in city laneways on Market Row and Mullins Street, between Clarence and York streets. Through colour and pattern the artworks play with the experience of people walking in the city, probing their unconscious memory of places and spaces across and through its streets. The colours and patterns created by the tiles and lighting seem to describe pieces of the city that are strangely familiar. Each doorway weaves together iconic fragments from elsewhere into a new visual experience, transforming laneways once neglected and forgotten, reminding us that cities are never fully known.

By citing other existing works of art and architecture, Callum Morton’s In Through the Out Door is a rare artwork that makes sense of what has come before. It is deeply embedded, concealed behind Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building which it cites, to ensure a memorable experience of discovery.

Callum Morton worked with Monash Art Projects and Gorilla Constructions to deliver this artwork. The City of Sydney acknowledges the support of building owners who make this public art intervention possible.

“Typically, laneways are the places of fire escapes, of service access and rubbish collection, of workers taking breaks, of homelessness, of small boutique shops, cafes or seemingly outmoded retail outlets. In these spaces one can witness the unadorned fabric of the city’s life. The thinking from the outset with these ideas has not been to change this, not interrupt this other life, but simply exaggerate it – make it more mysterious, revelatory and curious.”

– Callum Morton, 2021


Born in Montreal, artist Callum Morton lives and works in Melbourne where he’s a Professor of Fine Art at Monash Art, Design and Architecture. Morton is best known for his installation and sculptural works inspired by architecture and the built environment.

He has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, The Indian Triennale in New Delhi and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne. In 2007 Morton represented Australia at the Venice Biennale with his work Valhalla, a scale model of his childhood home. His public projects include Hotel on the EastLink freeway and Monument Park in Melbourne, the pavilion Grotto in Tilburg, the Netherlands and Sisyphus in Silkeborg, Denmark.

Morton has also designed sets for major productions by Melbourne Theatre Company, Ranters Theatre and Chunky Move.

Callum Morton is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.

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