The new community of Macarthur Heights lit up this evening when a spectacular light display in a permanent public art installation, the “Gates of Light”, was switched on.
Macarthur Heights is the most connected new community in Sydney’s south- west. Located adjacent to the University of Western Sydney (UWS), Campbelltown Campus, Macarthur station and Macarthur Square; it will include 850 homes, parklands, and an extensive network of cycle paths.
Robert Sullivan, Head of Retail Transition at UrbanGrowth NSW said the “Gates of Light” captured the essence of Macarthur Heights.
“This community is set adjacent to a place of learning and discovery,” he said. “This artwork recognises the tradition of learning at UWS and the role astronomy has played and continues to play in helping us to better understand the universe and our place in it.”
“We’re proud of the fact that residents here will have the luxury of being able to learn, work and play close to where they live,” Mr Sullivan said.
The artwork, by renowned artist Khaled Sabsabi, consists of three pointed arches, or gates, and is set in the Macarthur Heights, Main Ridge Park below the UWS Campbelltown Observatories”.
During the day, tinted acrylic glass panels in the arches capture and diffuse the sun’s rays to spectacular effect. At night, a light display inspired by the Auroras, or Polar lights, pays homage to the heavens and those who study them at the nearby observatory.
The arched gates represent the key elements of knowledge, tradition and community that are integral to the Macarthur Heights “town and gown” development, led by UrbanGrowth NSW through a partnership with UWS.
The artist and UrbanGrowth NSW consulted UWS staff and members of the Macarthur Astronomical Society, during the design phase. The gates include laser cut motifs of various constellations to provide a basic night sky map for would-be stargazers.
Each gate points to a number of different constellations that are in their upper transit at a good star-watching hour – about 9:30pm in winter and 10:30pm in summer. The smallest arch acts as a guide in the first three months of the year.
In January, for example, Orion and Taurus are on show at this time. In February, Canis Major and Minor as well as Gemini are on show and in March, Cancer and Lynx are marked out for observers.
The middle gate, or arch, plots constellations best viewed in April through to July, including Leo in April, Virgo in May, Ursa Minor in June and Libra in July. The tallest gate guides stargazers for the rest of the year.
The constellations to watch in the last five months of the year include Sagittarius in August, Aquila in September, Aquarius and Pegasus in October, Pisces in November and Aries in December.
The Gates of Light will be QR coded, so budding astronomers can download further information about the artwork and astronomy any time of day.
To find out more or to register your interest in new land releases visit the Macarthur Heights Sales Centre, the corner of University Drive & Milky Way, Campbelltown 9391 2983. Open 7 days 10am-5pm or go to http://www.landcom.com.au/macarthurheights
Artist background information
The artist Khaled Sabsabi works across mediums, geographical borders and cultures to create immersive and engaging media-based experiences. He was awarded the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship in 2010 and the 60th Blake Prize in 2011.
His work has been included in over 49 solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally.