Flight Path

Proposal for viewing platform on a steep hillside or cliff top

Flight Path is an elegantly simple viewing platform in the stylised form of a soaring bird. It consists of three undulating planes bolted together – a 10 metre long walkway and upraised wings all surfaced in expanded steel mesh. Stepping along the walkway the visitor sees straight through the mesh to the ground dropping away and the increase of space beneath. The plane of the walkway is not level and requires some attention as the visitor travels along it. At the terminal point handrail, the wings, rather than providing protection and shelter, are see-through. The wind penetrates too. There is no respite from space and air. This is the quintessential experience of the hovering bird.

This concept was shortlisted for Gowanbrae Civic Centre Public Art Commission in 2011.

preliminary model
photo: Louise Lavarack

New Order

2009

Galvanised steel cage, recycled domestic objects

Dimensions variable (columns 60 cm diameter by 400 cm high)

New Order refers to the ruined remains of ancient Greek architecture. In Sparta Place however, the universally recognised form of the classic Ionic column is constructed from contemporary materials and kitchenalia. An intriguing interplay between past and present is thus set up. From a distance the line of columns suggests the grand architectural scale of the past, while at close quarters the more modest scale of suburban life becomes apparent.

Location: Sparta Lane, Brunswick

Commissioner: Moreland City Council

Budget: $47,000

photo: Louise Lavarack

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

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