SCULPTURE OPINION POLL
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Bower was created in 2007-2008 by the artists Susan Milne and Greg Stonehouse. The sculpture is on the corner of Regent and Redfern streets in the Redfern district in Sydney. It was originally commissioned by the City of Sydney through its development company, Landcom.
Pearce Engineering was used for the fabrication, and ERCO Lighting Pty., Ltd worked on the lighting.
Milne and Stonehouse write that their sculpture is inspired by the bowerbird. Bowerbirds are known for a complicated mating ritual in which the male steals brightly colored objects from various places to place in a display that attracts the female. Some species of bowerbirds also have extraordinary mimicking skills, and can make calls that sound like cellular phone rings, construction equipment, or any other sounds in their environment.
The City of Sydney hosted two public workshops for community input on the sculpture in April 2007. Community members of Redfern were asked to bring their favorite objects to the workshops. These objects were photographed and some were represented in the final landscaping around the sculpture with custom-shaped glass tiles set in the footpath area around Bower. Community members also volunteered to record the stories behind the objects that they chose to bring.
After some of the initial work at the site was done, the City of Sydney discovered that part of the reserve where the sculpture site was proposed was actually under the jurisdiction of the Redfern-Waterloo Authority, a separate government entity. A proposal was then officially exhibited to the public for their input.