A striking green artwork that pays homage to traditional Indigenous navigation and land management practices sits above one of Sydney’s busiest city intersections. Designed by 25-year-old Kungarakan graphic designer Toby Bishop, ‘Ancient Tracks’ is printed on fabric and wrapped around scaffolding on the façade of the Woolworths building on the corner of George and Park streets, opposite Sydney Town Hall. The artwork represents evolving pathways on Gadigal Country and beyond.
Toby Bishop’s artwork was a response to a City of Sydney call out in mid-2021 to designers, photographers and artists for strong images inspired by a greener city. Toby’s work was unanimously selected from around 180 submissions.
My artwork Ancient Tracks pays homage to Indigenous navigation and land management, reflecting and speaking to a vibrant evolving-global city. For thousands of generations, tracks across Australia were created by our ancestors, gently formed with an interconnected relationship to Country and cultures. These sacred tracks evolved over time, in line with the seasons, ceremony and trade. Pathways are as dynamic as the land.
Some of Sydney’s main thoroughfares, such as George Street, Oxford Street and King Street in Newtown, followed Aboriginal tracks that served as trading routes between farmed grasslands or bountiful fishing areas.
Toby Bishop’s ‘Ancient Tracks’ artwork will be in place for close to a year while the Woolworths building is repainted throughout 2022.