Medieval architectural fantasy takes centre stage at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair

A seven-metre-tall, neo-medieval ‘Tower of Power’ rendered in slick, early third millennial, industrial vernacular comprised entirely of BondorPanel®, was one of the centrepieces at the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair in September.

Designed by Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Tower of Power’ is a site-specific work commissioned by Bondor and was the third year that the Australian manufacturer and building solutions provider has sponsored the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair.


160 panels were used to construct the ‘Tower of Power’ with the largest panel reaching 7.7 metres, allowing for an efficient and easy installation of the artwork. Artist Claire Healy said BondorPanel® was well suited for the ‘Tower of Power’ due to the product’s many opportunities for wild permutations.

“The innovativeness and versatility of BondorPanel® with its matt, off-white extrusions allowed us to effectively transform a utilitarian industrial stalwart into a medieval architectural fantasy,” Healy said. “The panels connected via Bondor Slip joints, so the individual panels slipped and locked in together like a kit – easy to use and with a strong and seamless finish. We can’t imagine that the product was ever intended to be used in such a way – but it also reminded us that Bondor is part of a history of construction that dates several millennia back.”

Visitors were invited to climb the 225 sqm tower for a 360-degree view of the vast exhibition space within Carriageworks. This offered them a view of the ebb and flow of the fair. The tower also functioned as a mobile phone charging site. While attendees looked over the art fair from above, they also recharged the battery of their mobile phone.

In its fifth year, the annual Sydney Contemporary Art Fair ran from 12-15 September 2019 and featured Australia’s largest and most diverse gathering of local and international galleries. This year the Fair welcomed over 90 galleries from around the world, showcasing the work of over 400 leading and emerging artists from more than 12 countries.

CEO and Fair Director Barry Keldoulis said how Bondor’s involvement has been invaluable to Sydney Contemporary. “We were delighted to be working with Bondor again. Their support helps us bring a whole range of artists to Sydney and contributes greatly to the creation of Australasia’s biggest premium art fair,” Keldoulis said. “We were particularly excited to see them enable the Tower of Power’ after successful partnerships in 2018 with the Patricia Piccinini on The Field’ installation, and in 2017 with Robyn Stacey on the ‘Camera Obscura’ commission Double Take’ for Deutsche Bank. Bondor stands out as a company not stuck in a rut of traditional expectation and willing to think creatively and fluidly about how their products can be used.”

Geoff Marsdon, Bondor’s Executive General Manager said working with the Sydney Contemporary helped the company to test their creative limits. “Bondor has always been about innovation and incorporating unique functional components in each product we design,” he explained. “We are proud to continue our support of the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair and to play our part in expanding the creative and aesthetic horizons of the Australian community and the built environment.”

Photo of (LtR) Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro by Ryotaro Kobayashi

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