A Work of Art

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Liddell power station may begin to disappear from this month, but a group of artists are making sure that it’s not forgotten.

Over the next 18 months, 16 artists will be documenting and commemorating the Hunter industrial icon.

Owner AGL, along with the state government, have provided grants for a huge arts project, not seen since the Ribbons of Steel initiative when Newcastle’s BHP plant closed in 1999.

Project Officer Marina Lee-Warner from Arts Upper Hunter said artists from across the Hunter would create new work that responds to the site and that pays respect to the contribution the Liddell workforce has made over more than 50 years of the power station’s operation.

“The 16 artists chosen for the Liddell WORKS project were part of a unique partnership inviting artists to creatively respond to the process of the closure, decommissioning and demolition of the iconic Liddell Power Station from April 2023,” she said.

The selected artists work across the fields of sound installation, pottery, 3D video recording, portraiture, large scale photography, sculpture and blacksmithing.

“This innovative program of artist ‘residencies’ will culminate in a major local exhibition or performance opportunity with the completed and curated works on exhibition at both Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery and the Singleton Cultural Centre in 2024.”

Six of the artists hail from the Upper Hunter, while four come from the wider Hunter region, three from Lake Macquarie and Central Coast and three from Sydney.

They are Tim Black, Mark Brown, Suellyn Connolly, Penny Dunstan, Andrew French-Northam, Todd Fuller, Roger Hanley, Huw Jones, Will Maguire, Rachael Milne, Rebecca Rath, Kirry Toose, Fran Wachtel, Kara Wood, Lisa Wiseman and Fiona Lee.

Bayswater-Liddell station General Manager Len McLachlan said this was a particularly exciting project for AGL Macquarie.

“AGL is pleased to be welcoming the Upper Hunter artistic community in to mark the retirement of Liddell Power Station and I expect we’ll see some truly inspired works produced through this partnership with Arts Upper Hunter,” he said.

“Liddell Power Station has been a social, cultural and economic fixture of our community for more than 50 years and we’re looking forward to providing opportunities for artists to interpret the stories of our people and to respond to the site.”

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