26 Jun 2023

Stargazing Through Art: Jacob Nash’s Celestial Tapestry at Pier Street Underpass

Step inside a night sky masterpiece by urban Aboriginal artist Jacob Nash at Pier Street Underpass in Darling Harbour, and connect with the stories that bind land, people, and the cosmos
Stargazing Through Art: Jacob Nash’s Celestial Tapestry at Pier Street Underpass

Greetings, dear explorers! This NAIDOC Week, let us venture into the night sky’s embrace through an ethereal art installation at the Pier St Underpass in Darling Harbour. Jacob Nash’s mesmerising creation beckons us to immerse ourselves in a celestial dreamscape that binds the stories of the earth and the stars.

Jacob Nash, an accomplished urban Aboriginal artist, has graced Darling Harbour with an extraordinary artwork known as Canopy. This site holds three unwavering constants – the nurturing earth, the proud heritage of the Wangal and Gadigal clans who have cared for this land, and the infinite night sky above. These elements are interwoven through time, and Nash’s artwork celebrates their eternal bond.

Canopy by Jacob Nash is more than an art installation; it’s a portal to a dreamscape that transcends time. It’s an homage to the Wangal and Gadigal clans, a love letter to the earth that sustains us, and a symphony composed in the stars.

The night sky has always been a storyteller. It has cradled ancient tales, guiding our ancestors, filling their hearts with wonder and dreams. It holds a tapestry of narratives that echo through the stars and constellations. When we lift our gaze to the heavens, we share in this universal connection that threads through generations and cultures.

With Canopy, Jacob Nash invites us to stand within the night sky, encompassed by an awe-inspiring panorama. This immersive experience compels us to reflect on the stories we’ve inherited and kindles the creative spirit to craft new tales that will ripple through the cosmos.

Nash’s ties to the land are deep and evocative. His Mother’s country is Daly River, and for two decades, he has made Gadigal land his home. In this artwork, Nash explores a profoundly personal contemplation. He stands on Gadigal land, gazing at the night sky, and travels through time to the evening of 28th April 1770. What did the night sky look like on that fateful night, just before Captain Cook's arrival? What stories were being woven into the stars?

2020 marked 250 years since that pivotal moment in history. With this in mind, Nash’s artwork is not just a reflection of the past, but an optimistic gaze into the future. It’s a reminder that while the earth beneath our feet has witnessed changes, the night sky remains a constant companion.

But what does it mean for us, the dreamers, the storytellers, and the stargazers? Canopy is an invitation to dream without bounds. It’s a space where we can honour the stories of the Wangal and Gadigal clans, and the tales that the night sky has cradled through millennia.

As you stand within this artwork, let your heart be light. Feel the embrace of the earth, the whispers of the ancestors, and the boundless possibilities the stars represent. Weave your dreams, hopes, and stories into this tapestry. This is a space where history and dreams coalesce.

National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and this year’s theme is ‘For Our Elders’ is an appeal to pay our respects and pay homage to the Elders we’ve lost and to those who continue fighting across all Nations

The Canopy

Learn about the Wangal and Gadigal clans who have cared for the land that Darling Harbour is built upon, through the eyes of Aboriginal Artist, Jacob Nash at the site of his work, Canopy.