Sunday, February 28, 2010

Granite and earth - creating a place to pause and wonder

Located just behind the carpark next to the Maleny library is an installation titled ‘Coracle’, - two granite forms set into ripples of turf. They were commissioned by the Caloundra City Council and created by Peachester artists Hew Chee Fong and his partner L.M.Noonan in the year 2000.

“‘Coracle’ is simultaneously an installation and an earth sculpture. There is a deliberate collusion with its proposed surrounding landscape design. It will provoke or suggest in the mind of the viewer a vignette of a journey. A large, granite boulder is carved to the point that suggests rather than literally stating, that it is a boat. As with any object in water, there is a simulated resistance or wake effect carved into the surrounding grassed area. A question is posed, has this craft come ashore here or is it still plying its way? Another large boulder sits in splendid and compelling isolation. The top of this monolith is polished to provoke a sense of the passage of time and the ceaseless smoothing action of water. The earth surrounding it sculpted to imply yet another reaction caused by an object in water. This is in the form of rings, such as those produced when something such as a stone is dropped into a still or unmoving liquid body.

The installation invites physical interaction, the viewer wants to touch and sit upon the sculptures. The work also invites intellectual interaction. The metaphoric references to the journey are powerful. It could be a simple narrative, it could be concerning the journey each of us is making and it could be an appropriate reference to the journey we make when we begin our quest for knowledge.

The work is designed to both evolve out of its surroundings and devolve or merge back into them. It is not designed to be a memorial or function as an object based sculpture.”

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ephemeral placemaking art at Bunya Dreaming

Congratulations to Beverley Hand and her supporters in once again staging the Bunya Dreaming celebration at Baroon Pocket Dam on 30 January 2010.

As part of the celebration Beverley and assistants created 4 ephemeral placemaking public art pieces that represented four totems for Aboriginal people from the area – the wedge tail eagle, python, goanna, and king parrot.

The four pieces were located at different parts of the celebration site but all could be seen from the public area on the lake foreshore where most of the celebration activities took place, and all art works were formed, in the main, from materials from the site. The art pieces not only told a story of the people who created it; but also the very creation of the art created energy and a spirit of place for the celebrations.

The dark and brooding wedge tail eagle in flight was about two metres high and three wide and was constructed from a large stump on the lake foreshore and collected branches etc that formed wings, tail and body.

The multicoloured python was about twenty or more metres long and was constructed from grass bound with wool. The massive head was created from grass, sticks, rocks for eyes and a bark or grass tongue.

The goanna was created from bunya branches and leaves.

The one metre king parrot looked down at people passing by. It was created from grass for the body, a palm frond formed the chest, green grass wing ‘feathers’, with flashes of red bottle brush flowers and a bean pod beak.

Beverley Hand kindly gave the OK for ArtSite to do a brief post on the art work. Photos by Barry Smith.