The City of Sydney has commissioned an artwork to commemorate those who died of AIDS and HIV-related illnesses. The memorial ‘Memory Weave’ by artists and architects Vesna Trobec and Russell Rodrigo from Studio Trobec will be installed in Green Park opposite St Vincent’s Hospital.
The plans for the memorial coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first case of HIV reported in the US in 1981. The first case of HIV in Australia was diagnosed in October 1982.
St Vincent’s was the first hospital in the country that had established a dedicated unit for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. According to records from the period, more than half of Australia’s HIV/AIDS patients had received their treatment at the hospital.
“Green Park holds special significance for the LGBTQI communities of Sydney. It has long been a symbolic place to those who have lost family and loved ones to HIV and AIDS,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore in a statement.
“We are pleased to be able to formalise this element of the park, with the commissioning and selecting of this significant artwork as part of our recognition of the tragic losses suffered by many in our communities,” said Moore.
Community Group Had Petitioned For Memorial
The memorial had come about following the efforts of the Darlo Darlings community group, which had petitioned the City of Sydney for a memorial tribute to those the community had lost due to AIDS and HIV-related illnesses.
Following approvals for the project, City of Sydney received around 30 applications from artists and landscape architects. The selected design from Studio Trobec will feature “a three-dimensional quilt featuring a timeline of historical events as well as text denoting people’s individual experiences”.
“The frames hold memories of the shared experience of loss and recovery and offer different opportunities for engagement within the memorial space. Through an interweaving of text and archival images, the frames offer different points of gathering within the broader landscape, allowing for a range of personal and collective engagement and reflection.”
Studio Trobec have designed other memorials including the the Gay & Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Green Park.