2022 2020 2018 2016

61 artists


About the work

“hurry to where they still (bloom)”

Brutal Transformations: The National Carillon as Memorial to the lost Temperate Grasslands: Paste Up Project on Kings Avenue Bridge, Southern Shore, Lake Burley Griffen.


In this Brutal Transformation Paste Up series, I am playing with the idea of memorials and colour memory. I have created colour palettes from the flora and fauna of the Critically Endangered Temperate Grassland Habitat that once flourished along the Molonglo River and superimposed these lost landscape colours onto the National Carillon.


the space you now occupy…

The National Carillon is a bell tower gifted to Australia by Britain in 1970 and opened by Queen Elizabeth II. It stands on an artificial island (now named after QEII), in an artificial lake which drowned the temperate grassland habitat.


was never vacant…

In another thread to this story, I listened to Ngambri elder Matilda House speak about her childhood memories of camping on the Molonglo River, fishing, catching turtle. Just over there, between the High Court and Anzac Parade…and am acutely aware of the loss of place, the loss of habitat created by the construction of the lake.


Today I look at this geometric bell tower and wonder. What is it really for? What is the point? I often talk about the power of colour to evoke connections. This work is a memorial, not for Queen Elizabeth II, but for what we’ve lost here, and what we need to learn to see. I want to see a spring festival of flowers by the lake, but not of imported flowers – I want a spring festival that celebrates the flora of this land.


‘Brutal Transformations’ are artworks created by Lymesmith which digitally recolour Brutalist buildings in Canberra. The work aims to stimulate discussion around how we treat our Brutalist buildings now and into the future, and about the transformative potential of colour in the built environment. Original photography of the National Carillon by Jakub Beseda.


hurry to where they still (bloom) by Lymesmith hurry to where they still (bloom) by Lymesmith hurry to where they still (bloom) by Lymesmith hurry to where they still (bloom) by Lymesmith

Photo montage of Lymesmith’s paste up installation: “hurry to where they still (bloom)” on the Kings Avenue Bridge.

About the artist

Lymesmith aka Sonia van de Haar is an artist and colour specialist with 20 years’ experience working in the built environment. With a background in both painting and architecture, and a passion for connecting people and place, she designs intelligent and stimulating artworks for spaces where people live, work and thrive. Her work on a public toilet won Australia’s premium colour accolade, the Dulux Colour Awards Grand Prix, and she has received both National and International awards for her work at the intersection of colour, art and architecture.

Lymesmith employs colour to enhance connection; to amplify or to camouflage built form; to signify cultural and historical connections; to reinforce way-finding strategies; to create new identities and regenerate places in transition.

  • hurry to where they still (bloom)
  • 2022
  • Installation