Eternity to echo again in the public square

‘Eternity’ will once again take centre stage in Sydney on 11 and 12 November at a free open-air screening of a new film, Written in Chalk: The Echo of Arthur Stace.

The screening will take place in the city centre at Town Hall Square (between Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral on the corner of George and Bathurst Sts) starting at 7.30pm.

The 70-minute documentary is the next chapter of the ‘Eternity’ story, showing how the iconic word and artwork has been used and adapted since it famously appeared on the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the 1999-2000 Millennium Fireworks, and in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Five-storey high Eternity tag

The film features creative directors Ignatius Jones, Ric Birch and former Lord Mayor, Frank Sartor talking about how the famous scrawl made its way from Sydney streets onto the world stage.

The film also features commentary from television host Eddie McGuire, street artists Mistery and Wendy Murray, bestselling Australian author Sulari Gentill, environmental activist Matthew Nott, opera composer Jonathan Mills, and Mr Eternity/Arthur Stace expert/historian Roy Williams.

Eternity Playhouse Theatre in Darlinghurst, Sydney

Director and producer of the film, from the Australian Television and Media Group, Richard Attieh, said he felt Arthur Stace’s life story would be best told through the impact he still has today – through the stories of people who are celebrating, using, adapting and re-presenting his story and his copperplate script ‘Eternity’ to people in Australia and around the world.

“Arthur Stace’s Eternity remains an iconic symbol of Sydney half a century after his death,” Attieh said. “This film looks at his legacy and the ongoing impact of his work.”

“The location of the screening is perfect. Arthur Stace wrote Eternity around Town Hall and the Square thousands of times during his 35-year run, and somehow managed to stitch the word into the fabric of our city”.

Arthur Stace at Hammondville

Arthur Stace was a WWI veteran who returned from the war feeling shell-shocked and became a homeless alcoholic. After turning his life around, he took to writing Eternity on Sydney’s streets more than 500,000 times from 1932-1967.

The dates of the screening are significant as well.

“Remembrance Day is one of the most significant dates in our national calendar and I am thrilled to be honouring some of our WWI heroes in the film on this day,” Attieh said.

“WWI plays a significant role in the Eternity story as it was a catalyst for the chance meeting between Arthur Stace and John Ridley, a former WWI Captain and recipient of a Military Cross for Acts of Bravery.”

The weekend also leads up to the 90-year anniversary of the first time Arthur Stace wrote Eternity on Monday 14 November 1932.

Eternity’s 90-year anniversary is also shared by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Ignatius Jones makes reference to this in the film.

“To learn that Eternity shares the same anniversary as the Sydney Harbour Bridge makes it [Eternity at the Millennium Fireworks] all the more special.  I bet he scrawled Eternity on the bridge a couple of times too”, says Ignatius Jones in the film.

The screening has been given the green light from City of Sydney Council, Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral, who all own and oversee various parts of the Square.

The film showcases the Eternity Café at Town Hall Station, the Eternity Playhouse Theatre, various Eternity-themed historical walking tours, the famous Remo General Store, and the painting of a five-storey high Eternity mural artwork at 348 Kent Street in Sydney.

“We are thrilled to be sharing this next chapter of this indelible story in the heart of the city which has shared it with the world,” Attieh said.

“It will be wonderful to see the Square filled with people reliving this story and allowing the echo of Eternity to continue.”

More information about the film, screening times and venues are available on the film website:

Written in Chalk