CAL­LUM MOR­TON: CITY LIGHTS

Cal­lum Mor­ton’s newest pub­lic art­work, City Lights’, launch­es on the back façade of the new Ace Hotel in Foy Lane, Sur­ry Hills, Sydney.

A clus­ter of 44 var­ied, emp­ty light box­es, City Lights’ forms a dense mass of black steel at heights that draws the eye ever upwards. Each box ref­er­ences a par­tic­u­lar part of the city dis­cov­ered by Mor­ton dur­ing a series of walks through­out 2019. Tight group­ings of box­es light in sequence, up and down the lane, cre­at­ing abstract­ed, illu­mi­nat­ed sil­hou­ettes – a draw­ing that becomes increas­ing illeg­i­ble the more lights are added to the succession.

Not­ing ref­er­ence in the work’s title, Mor­ton said: ” The title City Lights is tak­en from Char­lie Chaplin’s 1932 film of the same name, where The Tramp falls in love with a girl who is visu­al­ly impaired and tries to help her restore her sight. Refer­ring on the one hand to the mobile and mar­gin­al wan­der­ings of The Tramp, but equal­ly to the tem­po­rary blind­ness one can feel when lost inside the chaos of the con­tem­po­rary city at the street lev­el, the works legion of emp­ty signs and light frag­ments, echoes this blindness.”

This work was pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Monash Art Projects, curat­ed by Aman­da Shar­rad and com­mis­sioned by the Gold­en Age Group for the Ace Hotel by Bates Smart architects.

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