For over 40 years, the Coca Cola sign on William St has been an unlikely Sydney icon. Consisting of 88 vertical neon tubes, this installation encapsulates...
Access and Inclusion
Sinclair Park (Australia)
For over 40 years, the Coca Cola sign on William St has been an unlikely Sydney icon. Consisting of 88 vertical neon tubes, this installation encapsulates memories of the ‘gateway to King Cross’ with its mesmerising, monochromatic red glow.
Once upon a time, neon lighting represented all that was new and exciting in the world. In fact, the word neon is derived from the Greek word, neos, meaning new. After its launch at the 1910 Paris Motor Show, the alluring neon glow spread quickly around the globe, from the dazzling Las Vegas strip, to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, and to our very own Kings Cross.
When it was erected in 1974, the landmark Coca-Cola billboard was one of the largest neon signs in the world and is still the largest in the Southern hemisphere. At 13 metres tall, 26 metres wide and sporting an array of 88 vertical illuminated red bars, it can be seen for miles.
Now that more eco-friendly innovations are available, neon has gone from being king of the signage jungle to an endangered species on the brink of extinction. When the neon tubes of Sydney’s Coca-Cola sign were finally replaced with LEDs in 2016, it unofficially marked the end of the neon era. In memory of this landmark and the part it played in the history of neon, this work consists of 88 vertical neon tubes, squeezed into a box, perhaps to be forgotten?