Public Art by Aly de Groot

Public Art and site specific installations





In recent years, Aly's fine art has been interpretted as larger, permanent public  works, commisioned by Councils and corporate organisations throughout Australia.

Public Art by Aly de Groot

Intertwined - A commissioned public sculpture by Aly de Groot for City of Darwin.

The first of these was Intertwined, commisioned by the City of Darwin in 2014. 


 The cast bronze jellyfish forms  were Installed at East Point nature reserve in  September 2014.
Location: East Point Nature Reserve, Fannie Bay, Darwin.


East Point Reserve covers almost 200 hectares which includes 30 hectares of natural forest land. The reserve features important historic, cultural, recreational and environmental aspects and is home to a vast number of flora and fauna species. It is a popular public space where people of all ages meet, where events are held and the city’s culture can be experienced and enjoyed.

The public artwork, named Intertwined is a bronze sculpture of two jellyfish and is the creation of renowned Darwin based artist Aly de Groot. The bronze sculpture, three metres in height, was fashioned from woven repurposed ropes in the style of Aly’s woven jellyfish pieces which feature in many museums and art galleries throughout Australia.

Public Art in Darwin

Council aims to enhance Darwin as a centre of cultural excellence by commissioning works of public art that celebrate, mark and reveal aspects of community life and most importantly, provide the community with artwork to interact with, explore and enjoy.
The selection process for Council led public art commissions includes consultation with community members, stakeholders and key arts sector representatives, in keeping with the principles outlined in City of Darwin’s Public Art Master Plan.
Aly de Groot’s Intertwined commission has provided Council an opportunity to secure a major work of excellence, adding to Darwin’s cultural collection and fulfilling Council’s goals to support the growth and development of the arts.

About Intertwined

Aly de Groot explains: Box jellyfish are an extremely beautiful representation of Darwin’s unique fauna, often found in East Point Reserve marine area. These large woven jellyfish forms were made from reclaimed rope collected whilst working on a ghost-net weaving project with Indigenous rangers and school children in coastal North-East Arnhem Land.

Larrakia Elder, Bilawara Lee, joined me to weave the jellyfish which were then permanently embodied in metal by Cyprus born bronze sculptor, Philip Pipredes. Marrying the old with the new and the traditional with the contemporary, through its cross-cultural collaboration Intertwined celebrates Darwin, the environment and the rich diversity of its people.

Although I have lived in the Northern Territory for more than 20 years, I had rarely sighted box jellyfish, these mysterious but deadly creatures. Entranced by their translucent beauty, I found inspiration that informed my signature artwork: jellyfish woven from monofilament (fishing line). I became slightly obsessed by the jellyfish form and think box jellyfish are an underutilised and extremely beautiful representation of Darwin’s unique fauna.
The artwork was fabricated in Phillip Piperides’ foundry. Cyprus born Piperides is an internationally acclaimed fine art sculptor. Recipient of the Churchill Fellowship in 1990 in recognition of his achievements with bronze, his experience and passion has allowed my ethereal woven forms to become permanently embodied in bronze in a way that has never been achieved. I was joined by Larrakia Elder, Bilawara Lee, who is a respected healer and teacher with more than 62 years of experience working, living and being part of a very large, vibrant, Aboriginal family in Darwin. Bilawara ceremoniously prepared and smoked the creative space in the foundry with cockatoo feathers and burnt sage, to set a beautiful and focused start to the project.

Harbouring cross-cultural exchange, whilst marrying the old with the new, the traditional with the contemporary, this sculpture celebrates the working model of a multi-cultural city, that is Darwin. The many woven strands coming together represent the numerous reasons that East Point is a significant and important place to a diversity of people and creatures, interwoven and entwined together, like the ropey jellyfish tentacles.
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Aly explains :

Throughout the world various  jellyfish breeds are going crazy -  different countries have different jellyfish problems. In Japan they have this giant pink jellyfish issue going on. There are masses of them clogging the sea, endangering the environment & devastating the fishing industry etc. That's why I've been making the pink jellyfish - these so-called Nomura's jellyfish are breeding in burgeoning numbers.They can be up to two metres across.They used to occur every 40 years or so but now - because of the breeding conditions in coastal China - as the oceans become warmer their numbers are out of control. Think about it - no predators and the pollution in the ocean makes perfect conditions for them.Box Jellyfish are usually only found where i come from, In the Top-end of Australia, but they are increasingly being found in places they've never been found before. last year  they  were found in  northern NSW - Coffs Harbour. Within 10 years it's possible they could end up on iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney. .At the same time I think jellyfish are quite beautiful and their beauty symbolises our attraction to unsustainable living practices that are creating all these problems with out us knowing it. I make these beautiful objects so I can lure people in and tell them the story so they can think about what they can do personally to limit these problems.



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