A Possum is Watching

Peer through the treetops in this homage to one station’s 19th century name, Fern Hill, and meet some furry locals. 

About the artwork

Emily Crockford’s A Possum is Watching is located at the entrance to Hurlstone Park Station. It forms part of the suite of transparent artworks in station concourse windows at the 10 metro stations, from Marrickville to Bankstown, united by the theme Story Line.

Viewing this diaphanous artwork from the concourse is like peering through the treetops to the railway platform below. The ferns depicted allude to the station’s original 19th century name and natural environment, Fern Hill. 

There are in fact two possums watching the passing commuters. One is active and allied to the energetic pace of commuter travel. The artist describes the other, almost hidden within the ferns, as a wise old guardian figure, whispering ‘a prayer of protection’, to keep train travellers safe.

Emily Crockford is assisted by Studio A.

Artist Statement

"A Possum is Watching, depicts a soft green wonderland. It honours the heritage of Hurlstone Park station and celebrates the area’s natural environment. The design takes inspiration from the station’s original name - Fern Hill. Ferns fan through the image and ‘shade’ the metro platforms and station entry in luminous greens. The array of forest colours is envisaged to bring the calm and grounding energy of nature into the transport hub. Whether commuters are hurrying to work on a Monday morning or arriving home late after a social Saturday night out, Emily’s artwork transmits the benefits of nature into the urban environment. Creating peace, safety and the freshness of a forest breeze.

Amidst the ferny landscape two possums peer out. On the right, a foxy possum scurrying down a turpentine trunk pauses mid-flight. Like a commuter rushing for the train, this possum is furiously in transit, energised and on the go. Momentarily peeking out as pedestrians pass by, this possum encourages travellers to keep moving on route to their destination.

On the left of the design, hidden amongst the dappled leaf litter, a much quieter possum stares out. With a steady gaze this grandmother possum welcomes and watches commuters to Hurlstone Park metro station. Like a wise old guardian figure, the possum whispers a prayer of protection, keeping travellers safe."

Artist Biography

Emily Crockford is a Studio A artist well known for her energetic, whimsical style, which combines strong colour and intricate pattern. Bright hues sit alongside areas of fine detail; passionate energy exists simultaneously with areas of contemplation.

Emily has a long exhibition history and has been awarded a number of major public art commissions including: a mural for Westpac Banking Corporation (Concord, 2018); two works for the City of Sydney Creative Hoardings Project (Midnight Zoo, 20191 & Sydney Opera House at Night, 2017); a collaborative mural for University of Technology Sydney (Bird Life Jungle Disco, 2019); a hoarding for Lendlease at Barangaroo (Garden Pop Bird Bop, 2020); and a mural for the WestConnex M5 motorway, with Cultural Capital, titled Oysters Eating Rainbows (2020).

Emily has been an artist-in-residence at Cicada Press at UNSW Art & Design and Koskela and has collaborated with a number of established designers including Corban & Blair and One Another. Her works are held in various collections including the Artbank and she has a long running collaboration with Sydney artist Rosie Deacon.

Studio A is a supported studio based in Sydney that tackles the barriers that artists living with intellectual disability face in accessing conventional education, professional development and opportunities needed to be successful and renowned visual artists. The enterprise paves professional pathways for such artists so that they can achieve their artistic and economic aspirations.

1.  Midnight Zoo, 2019 for the City of Sydney Creative Hoardings Project was a collaboration with Studio A artists Phil Sidney, Lauren Kerjan, Thom Roberts