All Alongside Of Each Other

This contemporary public artwork celebrates the daily passage of commuters as they move through the Sydney Metro concourse. The artwork’s bold colour, playful form and calming phrases, combine to remind passengers of simple shared pleasures to be experienced in everyday travel.

About the artwork

Rose Nolan’s immersive artwork, All Alongside of Each Other is a monumental terrazzo floor-work and a text-sculpture, located in the metro concourse and its northern entrance.  

Taking a synthetic turf athletics track as its starting point, this playful and interactive work introduces whimsical notions of outdoors, recreation, fitness, collaboration and improvement. The floor text offers a series of meditative guides for the repeat commuter, whose journey may be heightened by different phrases and interpretations.  

Rose Nolan worked closely with station architects – Woods Bagot and John McAslan + Partners to ensure the artwork seamlessly integrates with the station design. The rich red colour, graphic form and materiality also reflect upon Central Station’s built heritage. References include: the intricate inlaid terrazzo floor of the former ticketing office, and the graphic red and white striped brick work of the Northern  Concourse facades. 

All Alongside of Each Other creates a marker of time and place in transition between the interior and external worlds. Daily commuters become participants in a contemporary public artwork which they experience whilst moving through the Sydney Metro concourse. The bold colour, playful form and calming phrases combine to remind passengers of simple shared pleasures to be experienced in everyday travel. 

Artist Statement

"All Alongside of Each Other offers an open and affirmative text-based proposition to celebrate the daily passage of people as they move together through the portal of Sydney’s iconic Central Station. 

It is a playful and unifying refrain that draws on shared journeys and the experience of travel and movement, using the literal concept of transport connections (parallel tracks, shared platforms, timetables) to consider the more abstract idea of connections to people, place, culture, past and present. 

The artwork – a large-scale red-and-white terrazzo floor drawing – begins with the formal red-and-white typology of the athletics track: parallel lines, circles and arcs. This strong graphic form operates as a marker of time and place as commuters actively follow parallel paths to reach their destination. It represents time as measurement – linear, fixed and predictable- not unlike the function of the century-old Central Station clock tower; a major landmark visible from many vantage points and known historically as the ‘working man’s watch’. 

Seen on approach from the Eddy Avenue entrance, the polished stainless-steel letters of All Alongside of Each Other function as a sign, beckoning commuters into the grand Northern Concourse and through to the track located below at the new Sydney Metro concourse. Scaled up and given static form, these words are assigned new meaning within this busy urban environment. 

All Alongside of Each Other evokes the constant flow and circularity of daily life. As an artwork conceived for the public realm, return commuters become participants in an unfolding experience as they move freely and effortlessly in and across the Sydney Metro concourse space. All Alongside of Each Other encompasses location, journey and destination and is suggestive of the past, present and future, anchored in a persuasive and universal visual form."

Artist Biography

Rose Nolan is a Melbourne-based artist who works across a range of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and printmaking. Her practice regularly oscillates between the discrete and the monumental and is informed by a strong interest in architecture, interior and graphic design, combining formal concerns with the legacies of modernism. 

Nolan’s practice is known for its investigation of the formal and linguistic qualities of words, directly using language to transform the architectural space they inhabit.

By making language concrete in this way, meaning is allowed to be approached differently. 

Nolan employs a reduced palette of red and white and simple materials and methods in an exploration of personal, playful and often self-effacing narratives. Each work describes a concern for economy; a desire to be responsive to site; an interest in seriality and repetition; and the importance of language, interactivity, and the experience of the viewer. 

Nolan has undertaken studio residencies at the International Curatorial & Studio Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, and Greene Street studio in SoHo, NY; the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.

Nolan has been awarded several public art commissions including the QVM/Munro Community Hub in collaboration with Six Degrees Architects and commissioned by the City of Melbourne; an integrated artwork for the new Hallam Station commissioned by the Victorian Government; a permanent wall-based work commissioned for Monash University Library; and Melbourne Art Trams. In 2016, Nolan was awarded the J and M McGiven Prize for painting. 

Nolan’s works are held in major public collections, including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney.