Portable cauldron and travelling case, Sydney Olympic Games, designed by Blue Sky Design, 1998, made G A & L Harrington's, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2000
The Sydney design company, Blue Sky, designed this portable cauldron in 1998 for use in the Olympic torch relay celebrations of 2000. The project was part of the company's broader tender to design the Olympic and Paralympic torches for the Sydney Games. Using computer-generated designs, Sydney model-makers, Box & Dice, developed a three-dimensional model and the metal pressers and toolmakers, G.A. & L. Harrington, made the prototype and final series of cauldrons.
Director of Blue Sky, Mark Armstrong, described the cauldron as "a staging prop" that needs to complement the Olympic and Paralympic torches which are "lasting icons". Consequently, the cauldron's arching legs and tiered basin emulate the curve of the torch and its tiered rim. A total of two hundred cauldrons were manufactured Harrington's and 188 were presented to communities hosting torch relay celebrations. This particular cauldron was used on 12 October 2000 at the Wollongong Paralympic Torch Relay celebration.
From September 1998 onwards, SOCOG and Local Community Working Groups formed a schedule of daily festivities that would take place the Sydney 2000 Torch Relay route. In all, 188 Australian communities would welcome the Olympic flame and host vibrant festivities to celebrate their culture, heritage and participation in an Olympic event. Ultimately, these celebrations would become major expressions of civic pride and Olympic spirit in the weeks preceding the Sydney 2000 Games.
Australian tourist commissions, ethnic affairs groups and local councils were instrumental in selecting communities to host the celebrations. Essentially, participating communities were spaced conveniently along the route, and were capable of accommodating a portable stage (folding outwards from a semi-trailer), seating, and the Torch Relay Crew. Preferably, they were a testament to Australia's diverse culture, melding indigenous and multi-ethnic traditions.
The celebrations uniformly took place at lunchtime and evening, and followed a routine format of an opening ceremony, community entertainment, arrival of the torch, lighting of a community cauldron, and departure of the flame. In spite of this repetition, each celebration provided a unique fusion of civic decorations and entertainment. Grafton residents, for example, honoured their jacarandas by decorating the main street with 45 kilometres of purple crepe paper and thousands of hand-made flowers. In contrast, Tenterfield celebrated its musical heritage by hosting a pipe band, an Italian cultural singing group, and the Granite Belt Choir.
The portable custom-built stage was a hub for official proceedings, community participation and the ignited community cauldron. The foreground, with two radiating segments, provided entry and exit points for torchbearers, and seating for sponsors and special guests.
Designed by Blue Sky Design, Sydney 1998 and manufactured by G. A. & L. Harrington Pty Ltd, Sydney 2000.
Used by Wollongong City Council at the Paralympic Torch Relay celebration in Wollongong on Thursday 12 October 2000 (Day 8).
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.