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The Garden Palace

International exhibitions were big events that brought people together from around the world to learn and explore new technologies, inventions, art and ideas.

Constructed within the grounds of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Garden Palace was a magnificent building and the first of its kind in Australia. Unfortunately, it only existed for three years because it caught fire and burned down. However, the stories it can still tell us are important and special.

The 32nd Kaldor Public Art Project

In 2016, Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones presented barrangal dyara (skin and bones), a sculptural art installation at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for the 32nd Kaldor Public Art Project. The artwork recalled the Garden Palace building where it originally stood before the fire.

Members of Aboriginal communities are respectfully advised that these videos recall the loss of cultural objects from across the south-east of Australia.


Kaldor Public Art Project 32: Jonathan Jones 
'Episode 2: The Garden Palace and The Fire' produced as part of barrangal dyara (skin and bones), Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, 17 September – 3 October 2016 
© Courtesy the artist and Kaldor Public Art Projects Archives
Video: Pedro Greig 


Kaldor Public Art Project 32: Jonathan Jones 
'Episode 4: Shields' produced as part of barrangal dyara (skin and bones), Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, 17 September – 3 October 2016 
© Courtesy the artist and Kaldor Public Art Projects Archives
Video: Pedro Greig 

Activities - The Garden Palace

1. Watch and listen

The Sydney International Exhibition held in the Garden Palace introduced some new things to Australia and the world. Three of them were mentioned in the Garden Palace video. What are they? How or why do they make our lives today better or easier? 

2. Art communication and interpretation

In the video ‘Shields’, what was the artist, Jonathon Jones, trying to communicate with his art installation barrangal dyara (skin and bones)?
 

3. Create

Create your own artwork that represents the Garden Palace and a part of its story. Use either natural materials or anything else you like.
 

4. Plan your exhibition

Imagine there is going to be another International Exhibition held in your town. Choose one thing to be on display that shows the modern technology, inventions, ideas or art of the 21st century. Fill out the application form in preparation for holding a stall at this world event.  Have a look at an example application form to get started.