Alchemy Garden

Andrew Rewald

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

Andrew Rewald’s 'Alchemy Garden' is an interactive, ever transforming, community-based garden project built from found objects from the NAS site and inserted new objects. The garden is deeply imbedded in this location, created through reflecting on histories from pre-invasion Indigenous land use to cultivation during the era of the Darlinghurst Gaol and through to the present. The garden also considers interconnected pathways of human and plant migration and is a direct response to the climate crisis. We are asked to reflect on what we can learn from the past to inform new sustainable practices into the future.

The project uses ecological design practices such as repurposed building materials, a wicking bed drawing water from a reservoir, a vessel filled with a bioactive charcoal to filter wastewater, coir logs to control erosion and scalloped landscaping to direct water flow. Local community group the ‘Darlo Darlings’ are collaborating in the on-going maintenance of the garden, and Rewald will present a series of public workshops and food events with different partners throughout the Biennale. This evolving project highlights food-plant-people relationships and processes that provide alternative narratives around sustainable practices.


  • Title: Alchemy Garden
  • Creator: Andrew Rewald
  • Date Created: 2019/2020
  • Location Created: National Art School
  • Physical Dimensions: dimensions variable
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from Create NSW. Courtesy the artist.
  • Type: installation
  • Rights: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: plant matter and repurposed found materials
  • Edition: 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020): NIRIN

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