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Acknowledgement of Country — WestConnex would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we have built WestConnex and our public art and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and invite everyone to share, be proud and be empowered by their culture.

Near The Centre (There is Music) by Greg Johns


St Peters Interchange

It’s important to put thoughtful, challenging works out into the community which do connect to place.

Near The Centre (There Is Music) by Greg Johns is a compelling meditation on place, people and history. The work features a large central piece surrounded by an installation of ten figures known as The Observers. The central four-metre-high mandala is a fractal form, a simple pattern that repeats over and over, becoming infinitely complex and never-ending. Artists have been making fractal patterns for many centuries and across many cultures. It is also a phenomenon that exists throughout nature: trees, rivers, clouds, hurricanes and many other organic systems are all fractal forms. Johns uses this patterning to connect to the generative forces of nature, older belief systems, and contemporary physics and philosophy, to suggest a universal interconnectedness.

As one moves around the central Corten steel sculpture, the internal patterns change dramatically to create a dynamic, sensory experience. This heroic scale is contrasted with the intimate, human scale experience of The Observers. Embedded in these figures is a hybrid of cultural references that influence Johns’ practice: the Australian landscape, Indigenous art and European figurative sculpture.

Headshot of the artist Greg Johns

Greg Johns

Adelaide, Australia

Greg has been working as a full-time sculptor for 42 years, completing major commissions in Australia and internationally, as well as exhibiting annually in solo and major group shows in Australia, New York, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. In 2001 he acquired 400 acres of land at Palmer in S.A., to establish an independent sculpture landscape and address environmental issues.

Over the last decade, the Australian landscape has become a major influence on my sculpture. It is not however the only influence; over the last 40 years of practice, a layering of ideas has gradually unfolded and evolved. These conceptual notions are now well rooted in this landscape.

In 2012 he was the recipient of the McClelland Museum Sculpture, Australia`s premier sculpture award. In 2013 a major work “At The Centre [There Is Nothing]” was installed on Sydney Harbour. A residency in Cork, Ireland was also completed in the same year, with a work “Monument To The Carers Of Place” installed there in early 2014. A second major monograph, written by John Neylon, “Edge Of Time” was published in 2015. Further major commissions were also completed:

  • “Dual Column(Vortex)” Sydney 2015
  • “Wavering Circle” 2015
  • “From The Centre–To The Centre”, Melbourne 2016
  • “Landlines” the entrance to Gawler, 2017.




              Launch prize intro