“An iconic piece of Australian art”. “A conversation piece that captures the wonderful diversity of voices and stories across Australia”. Sydney Airport’s new artwork, United Neytions, is as striking as it is significant.

Archie Moore's United Neytions, 2018. As part of a partnership between the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Sydney Airport Commission, the artwork has been installed at T1 International Terminal, Sydney Airport.

Photo: Anna Kucera.

Sydney Airport is highlighting the diversity and richness of Aboriginal cultures with its latest spectacular artwork.

Comprising 28 large flags, the striking work of contemporary art by Kamilaroi artist Archie Moore is titled United Neytions. From its location in Sydney Airport’s T1 International Marketplace, the piece acts as a memorable farewell to travellers as they depart Australia.

Moore’s United Neytions has been unveiled as part of a partnership between the airport and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia. The aim is to strengthen departing international visitors’ (and Australians') cultural experience and highlight the many Aboriginal histories and cultures in both Sydney and Australia.

Moore said the flags in United Neytions celebrate “issues of place and identity to adopt a scale and status that official international flags have”. They draw attention to “the histories, voices and presence of local indigenous people on whose traditional lands the airport lies, but also the passages of cultures, pasts, territories, ages and cultural knowledges that airports foster,” he added.

“These United Neytions, nations of the imagination, include this area of Sydney. I would like to thank local Elders, Vic Simms and Laddie Timbery and their families, as well as the La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council for hosting United Neytions on their land."

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said he was proud to support Archie Moore’s vision and was excited about the “incredible cultural experience” United Neytions will foster. “We’re committed to celebrating the very best of local and Australian talent and showcasing our city and nation’s rich and wonderful stories,” he said.

United Neytions celebrates the diversity and richness of Aboriginal cultures.

“We’re very much focused on continually finding new ways to ensure both local and international travellers enjoy a dynamic and unique experience whenever they visit Sydney Airport.

“Our vibrant art collection and award-winning food & beverage and retail offering allow passengers to continue making the most of their Australian adventure even as they’re getting ready to board their flight home.

“As we are gearing up to welcome more than 50 million passengers by 2022, the airport is giving travellers a memorable journey through the arts and culture.”

Archie Moore is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists.

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE called United Neytions an important work of contemporary art that was fitting for a “high-profile location” such as Sydney Airport. “International travellers will depart with a striking visual representation of our nation’s cultural fabric and a taste of Australian art,” she said.

“Arts and culture are an important part of creating an identity for the city, and I believe this work by Archie will become an iconic piece of Australian art.”

The flags draw attention to “the histories, voices and presence of local indigenous people".

Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull (AO/The Order of Australia) noted the artwork’s role in creating Sense of Place. She said it would also “be a conversation piece that captures the wonderful diversity of voices and stories across Australia”.

Sydney Airport already hosts a significant art collection across its terminals, featuring pieces by a mix of local, international and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Issue 245 | 30 August 2018