Aerial view of a section of white concrete path crossing a grass lawn. On the path and the lawn are three geometric shapes created by criss-crossing lines – one each in cyan, yellow, and pink.
Close view of a section of yellow criss-crossing lines on a lawn at night. The lines are illuminated from within, glowing against the dark grass.
Close view of a section of pink criss-crossing lines on a concrete path at night. The lines are illuminated from within, glowing against the concrete.

An artwork inspired by the ongoing relationship the site has to water.

Artist: Kerrie Poliness
Curator: Amanda Sharrad

Artwork description

Several years in the making, the artwork evolved over time. Working with the park designer McGregor Coxall, Stream adjusts, settles and shifts with changes to the landscape features.

Stream was inspired by the ongoing relationship the Drying Green site has to water. Once integral to a complex wetland system, obstructed by a dam for early industry, then submerged as a stormwater culvert, it is now central to the wetland reconstructed in the park.

Stream is a highly integrated artwork consisting of intersecting straight lines forming a meandering glass pathway across The Drying Green. The flexible diamond structures within the lawn, paths and steps incorporate 6 colours to achieve 2 colour zones in the park.

Resembling a rainbow spectrum, the specific wavelengths of light selected for the central park location are cyan, yellow and pink. The entrance area on the corner of Zetland Avenue and Paul Street features violet, green and orange. The surface of the coloured glass is soft like sea-glass worn down by water, complementing the textures and colours of surrounding stone and tiles.

Stream responds to changes in the weather, with the intensity of the artwork’s colours shifting considerably in response to light and water. Powered by solar panels installed on the nearby barbecue shelter, at night the elegant geometric features inherent to the artwork offer a spectacular re-reading of the park’s strong origami features as experienced during the day. Stream responds boldly to the variety of forms, textures and colours found throughout the park.

The artwork is conceptually linked to local ecology and history. Stream’s geometry of waves reflect upon the manifestation of waves across water, sound, energy, light, geomorphology and migration. Waves can relate to physical movement and transfer of energy or a metaphor for the phases of history and culture, in constant motion and transition.

Stream also refers to the active process of following physical and conceptual paths and making connections. The work evokes the flow and collection of knowledge, the forming of ideas, the evolution of stories and the interlinking layers of history.

The illuminated coloured glass pathway system is a bespoke innovation that required close collaboration with a team of creative expert engineers and industrial designers at Event Engineering and Electrolight to achieve and refine the artwork design.


Kerrie Poliness is a leading contemporary Australian artist based in Melbourne. Her practice includes instructional wall and field drawings, and research-based projects investigating the natural and social histories of places.

Through her investigations into systems, repetition, geometry and abstract art, Poliness embraces the inherent differentiation and asymmetry of all objects and the impossibility of perfect mass production. Wave drawings, such as Stream, combine both strands of the artist’s practice.

Project team

  • Event Engineering
  • Electrolight
  • McGregor Coxall
  • Regal Innovations
  • City of Sydney

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