Herald readers hunt for unearthed relics, hungry trees

Our story last week about Thomassons, a type of conceptual art named by Japanese artist Akasegawa Genpei in the 1980s, generated significant feedback from readers.


A Thomasson is a useless structure, piece of architecture or relic that has been preserved and has become a piece of art in its own way.

We told how there are 20 different categories of Thomasson and our best example was a redundant staircase pictured in Hickson Road in The Rocks. But readers were quick to send their own examples.

Maria Franklin has what the artist defines as A Useless Window. She wrote: “I don’t think it’s still there, but, as you explain in your article, it existed in a time of change (renovation) on a building in Kogarah.”

Room without a view: Thomasson in Kogarah.Credit:Maria Franklin

Paul Donnelly of the University of Sydney sent in this shadow picture, which is defined as an A-Bomb 2D Thomasson: the outline of a building that remains in silhouette on a wall.

An A-bomb Thomasson from Paul Donnelly.

An A-bomb Thomasson from Paul Donnelly.Credit:Paul Donnelly

This can be seen sometimes when a section of a tightly packed row of buildings is torn down. The “white house” example is at the back of the John Woolley Building on Science Road, The University of Sydney.

Mary Sandstrom sent this useless stairway taken at the Manly Pavilion, complete with champagne bottle at the top – presumably to celebrate if you work out where it goes.

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