Veil

2007

Wooden clothes pegs, cold water dyes, acrylic varnish, nylon fishing line, stainless steel rod

Dimensions variable (overall 120 x 330 cm)

The humble domestic peg provides layers of meaning for the sumptuously woven Veil. Functionally pegs are the pinpoint of restraint that prevents freshly washed clothes from flying off into the sky or falling into the mud. Pegs also evoke the endless and repetitive behind-the-scenes labour necessary to sustain a household and family life.

Veil subverts these functions and elevates the peg from the relative privacy of the backyard to a more public realm. The dichotomy between public and private realms is resolved in the two-faced form of a ‘curtain’, the nominal function of which is to filter vision both into and out of a room. Suspended at the threshold between interior and exterior realms, the back-to-back surfaces of Veil have opposing colour treatments to emphasise the shift between our inner and outer worlds.

First exhibited: MARS, Port Melbourne (November 2007)

Collection: the artist

photo: John Gollings

Mn8

Proposal for temporary installation in public space

Mn8 is a wall of mobile phones standing in a busy pedestrian precinct. In standby mode the live feed image on each phone camera reveals events on the other side of the wall – a person on one side can signal to someone watching from the other side.

In addition simple SMS messaging activates a colour display that ripples across the massed phone screens for up to 60 seconds before reverting to standby mode. During the colour display an audio component provides a whispering soundscape discernible only to listeners in immediate proximity to the wall.

The result is a choreographing of the viewer – first drawing them near to inspect and interect via the cameras then pushing them back to take in the whole as the overall display changes.

Conceptually, Mn8 plays with ideas of connection (the phone) and separation (the wall). A wall divides people but in this case the phone cameras render the wall transparent. This virtual connection is then temporarily obliterated by activating the colour display. The interplay between acts of connection and separation, between the physical and the virtual folds back on itself.

Concept developed in response to the City of Melbourne brief for Illuminating Melbourne, 2007 

preliminary visualisation: FloodSlicer

Threshold

2006

Painted steel

Dimensions variable (overall area 8 x 8 metres each group of poles, poles 9 x 9 cm or 5 x 5 cm by 350 cm high)

Threshold stands in two sentinel groups on the banks of Kororoit Creek. On the west bank the poles are slender, while on the east bank they are thicker and more widely spaced. The poles are painted in alternating bands of colour derived from the bark colours of the river red gums that grew along the creek before European settlement. This banded treatment also suggests the now-vanished flood markers that once stood at this place.

For a viewer moving by, the bands form optical patterns that shift and change; a few metres movement one way or the other causes the patterns to disintegrate or re-form. From a distance Threshold is visually mystifying, inviting the viewer to move closer in order to understand the source of its intriguing and elusive visual effects. Threshold playfully engages the viewer and honours the nature and history of a particular place.

Location: Kororoit Creek at Barnes Road Bridge, Altona North, Vic

Commissioner: Hobsons Bay City Council

Budget: $71,000

photo: Louise Lavarack

Cloud

2007

Painted aluminium, stainless steel cables and fittings, galvanised steel support poles and anchor cables

Dimensions variable (overall area 15 x 35 metres, height 9.5 metres)

Suspended above the roadway at the southern entry to the town, Cloud consists of a network of stainless steel cables incorporating 27 windvane panels. The windvanes sensitively adjust to changes in wind direction. Each panel is painted in two colours, one on each face. The colours are drawn from the local skyscape – on one side are the bruised blues of thunderclouds and on the other the rosier colours of sunrise/set. This airy structure hovers overhead forming a unique version of a traditional archway.

Location: Howitt Street, Warragul

Commissioner: Baw Baw Shire Council

Budget: $130,000

photo: Louise Lavarack

Sight Line

2004

Painted galvanised steel, acrylic inserts, painted aluminium panels, stainless steel bearings, internal polycarbonate enclosures housing LED lighting and circuitry, acoustic motion sensors

Dimensions variable (overall length of installation 360 metres, poles each 12.5 x 12.5 cm by 450 cm high plus windvane 70 x 90 cm)

Sight Line translates the ephemeral effects of wind and water movement at the pier. Each pole is topped by a windvane that sensitively adjusts to changes in wind direction. At night LED lighting visible in the slotted windows moves up and down in response to the waves passing below the pier. The overall visual impact is immediate and striking, enhancing the site with a sense of focus and drama, both day and night.

The coded graphics of the windvane panels spell out ‘arrive depart divide join’, a poetic evocation of the pier as a threshold site. Sight Line draws the eye out to the horizon, to the visual theatre of sea and sky, and to the places of imagination and dream.

Location: Frankston Pier and Forecourt

Commissioner: Frankston City Council

Budget: $230,000 (including $115,000 Victoria Commission 2002 from Arts Victoria)

photo: John Gollings

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