"The Mirror" 2015
Lynbrook Community Centre, Lynbrook VIC Australia

The Mirror

(click to enlarge)

My public artwork for the Lynbrook Community Centre is titled "The Mirror". In it, the Lynbrook community looks and comments on itself. Two hundred individual artworks have been created by Lynbrook students (pre-school, primary) and community groups (aged care, indigenous, residents) about their views on the neighbourhood.

(click to enlarge)

Their responses have been digitised, manipulated, scaled and printed on transparencies in gridded sections 100cm (H) x 100cm (W). These are mounted on aluminium boxes, backlit by neon, sandwiched between Perspex and diffuser sheets. Four double-sided light-boxes are suspended from the ceiling and four are wall-mounted.

The wall mounted light boxes show the artwork coloured and illuminated by the neon shapes. The suspended light boxes give viewers the opportunity to see the "back side" of the assemblages, revealing what those shapes are that are contributing to the variations in surface colouring (on the artwork side), like "the magician's secret". The suspended units are arranged in a cross format while the wall mounted assemblages are located on the adjacent wall in the Centre foyer.

The original artworks after compositing and colour balancing. Boxes 1-4: the suspended ones

Boxes 5-8: the wall-mounted ones.

The Install

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"The Postcard Project" 2010
Brisbane State High School, Brisbane QLD Australia

Over 400 postcards from students aged 10-University and members of the community were digitized, composited, printed as transparencies, backlit with neon and mounted on an exterior glass wall. Focus: Life in West End in the present and future.

Above is a schematic showing how the entire piece looks over its 32 metre (100 foot) span. The yellow blocks represent individual postcards, 60 per panel (15 columns and 10 rows); they are mounted on a glass wall and backlit with neon. The grey squares represent concrete sections; these have the word "community" and 9 definitions painted on them.

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West End is undergoing rapid changes as the local landscape shifts from single family dwellings and light industrial towards proposed 30 storey complexes of apartments and offices. Residents both young and old alike live with a great deal of uncertainty.

This project will deal with the attitudes and visual references about life in this neighbourhood as seen from the perspective of 15 years of students as well as long-term residents and indigenous groups: What is it like living and/or going to school in West End / Highgate Hill / South Brisbane? What you do / where you go for fun in this area? What you hope the future holds for this area or, indeed, what you fear the future holds for this area?

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"DDS: The Bridge" 2007
Brisbane State High School, Brisbane QLD Australia

This work is about the codification of knowledge, about how we organise books and subject matter by major areas of study. It is about the relationships (or bridges) between these categories and sub-categories. This structural system is highly relevant to the School setting, in particular to the Library location for which it was designed.

The work is about symbols, or visual shorthand, for the representation of these departmental divisions. There are 10 double-sided photographic transparencies, each backlit by separate neon units. The structure of the overall work reflects the Dewey Decimal System. This project is a work involving light, diffraction and diffusion with neon light shining through photographic transparencies.

The neon symbols represent the Categories in a graphic, symbolic manner, and the photo transparencies will refine this symbolic representation in a visual, textual interpretation.

 

000: Bibliography, Media and Publications Images: library books, media logos, magazine and newspaper logos.
100: Philosophy and Psychology Images: paranormal phenomena, philosophers, brains and nervous system schemata.
200: Religion Images: Roman Catholic, Byzantine, Buddhist monks, Jewish and Hindu symbols, Zen rock garden, crowds at Islam.
300: Social Sciences Images: Education (BSHS logo), economics, law, politics, Amnesty International, folklore.
400: Language Images: Tower of Babel, extinct alphabets, Braille, text, flag sphere, binary code, brains with speech centres highlighted.
500: Natural Sciences and Math Images: maths, plants, animals, astronomy, fossils.
600: Technology and Applied Sciences Images: Airplane cockpit, agriculture, medicine, building & manufacturing, cooking, chemicals..
700: Arts, Performing Arts Images: Warhol’s soup cans with text, images showing dance, art, photography, music, architecture, graphics.
800: Literature Images: Shakespeare, hieroglyphics, leather books, calligraphy, hand drawn brush & paint pot.
900: Geography, History Images: early world map, medieval Europe map, current world map, Greek red figure painting, pyramids.


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"The Star" 2007
Upper Coomera State School, Coomera QLD Australia

 

This project is a work involving light, diffraction and diffusion with halogen light shining through cast resin slabs. There is a progression between various elements, a sequence incorporating repetition and change.

There are 5 closely related cast resin pieces suspended from the ceiling; these are lit by halogen lights mounted on a stainless steel 5-pointed star, echoing the composition of the overall work. The structure of the overall work, which is in the new Performing Arts building, reflects the close relationship between Drama, Dance, Music, Media and the Visual Arts.

Each of the five cast resin pieces, measuring around 80cm square by @5-8 cm thick, represents one of the tenants of the new building. Each has colour in the red-yellow range of analogous colours. Each has one or more symbols embedded into the resin dealing with that particular field of study.

Embedded Symbols
Art: A simplification of Mondrian’s painting “Broadway Boogie-Woogie”
Dance: A design inspired by Arthur Murray’s School of Dancing step-by-step floor plan
Media: The Web (www)
Drama: An interpretation of the classical Comedy / Tragedy masks
Music: Musical notation from the Beatles’ song “Here Comes the Sun”, chosen because of the symbolism of the sun in the UCSC logo
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Whereas the content is concerned with areas of learning, the form is a work powered by light. The halogen lights shine onto the resin and into the resin, making the embedded symbols appear as shadows. The resin slabs have heavily textured surfaces, balancing “objecthood” with symbolism, inviting the observer to look at them as well as into them.

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"Cascade" 2004

Inala Campus of the Bremer Institute of TAFE, Inala QLD Australia
Cast resin, neon, Perspex and stainless steel


This project is about water.

It is about the characteristics, the symbolism and the visual qualities inherent in the medium. The idea began with the image of a rippling pond of water; this evolved into a series of twelve translucent discs. The discs range from 250mm to 1300mm diameter and are suspended from the foyer ceiling. Distribution is along a 10-metre path that echoes the curve of the drop-down ceiling. There is a gradual change and progression between each disc as far as the ratioof negative space to positive space.

Each disc has at least one graphic element or symbol dealing with the representation of water from avariety of sources: historical, alchemical, universal and/or cultural. Language and letterforms as well have their place (through embedding and embossing) via the variety of migrant languages and alphabets as applicable: Vietnamese, Chinese and Italian amongst them. The languages and alphabets are used in a graphic manner, not merely as "information carriers".

The main symbol (per disc) will be presented both micro and macro: the 'micro' version is embedded within the upper area of the disc in its entirety. The 'macro' version has been super-imposed over the disc as a whole, with sections of it visible only where it coincides with the contours of the disc; in these areas it is embossed 12-20mm deep into the cast resin. This way each symbol is used both as a "whole" (conveying its linguistic message) and as a linear pattern (taking it from the realm of information to that of design).

The other main characteristic of my project is a strong emphasis on light.

There are three main forms or sources of light: natural (or ambient), halogen and neon. The natural light within the foyer environment will vary with the seasons as well as the time of day; this is a feature of the architect's design. This sculpture takes advantage of this changing stage through the variety of the discs suspended from the ceiling. Whichever direction the light is coming from, it is bound to strike one of the discs over the 10-metre spread. Once light strikes, projections occur onto the surrounds, thus extending the range and scale of the piece. The halogen adds a different colour to (and through) the discs, and the turquoise neon strip acts as a visual "spine" for the arrangement of the discs. Furthermore, it acts as an interior light source, providing a "water-ish" illumination visible THROUGH the discs, with its position reflecting the differences between the discs' shape, proportions and positions.

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"Observing the Imagined" 2004

Charleville Cosmos Centre, Charleville QLD Australia
digital photography and manipulation, neon, wood, Perspex

Rationale:
Constellations are the focal point of the Artwork. They are a mix of the observed (stars) and the imagined (arbitrary linear abstractions of mythological figures). By focussing on these elements we can successfully combine both the concrete (observed) and ethereal (astrology) to make an interesting, dynamic and informational display. To set up this contrast between the real and the imagined there are two main elements: the Star Chart and the Constellations.


The Star Chart:

This element is made up of photographs in a 360-degree panorama of the night sky in Charleville, including the recognizable landmarks and buildings. This "anchoring" of the work to the landscape makes the work "site-specific", effectively making Charleville the centre of the Universe. This is the stage on which the constellations make their appearance.

The Constellations:
Made out of neon, the Constellations are visible through and from behind the transparent "Star Chart". They represent mankind's emotional response to the immensity of the night sky. One of the hardest aspects to incorporate into this project was the element of change. How is one to show a 12-month cycle of star rotation on ONE wall? The solution I came up with was to have four SETS of constellations including the five most visible (or significant) constellations for each season. (There are several repetitions due to constellations appearing over a two-season span.) These decisions were based upon sky charts of visible constellations from the Southern Hemisphere, colour coded in the following symbolic manner:

1. Summer (red): Orion, Canis Major, Carina, Eridanus and Gemini
2. Autumn (yellow): Leo, Canis Major, Orion, Crux and Centaurus
3. Winter (blue): Bootes, Libra, Virgo, Leo and Corvus
4. Spring (green): Sagittarius, Capricornus, Pegasus, Aquila and Cetus

Interactivity and Change:
The "seasons" come-and-go as a set. They fade-in, have an overlap time and fade-out, in a seasonal sequence. The Constellations appear through the semi-transparent Star Chart, emphasising the relationship between what we see (stars) and how we interpret them (patterns). Summer and Fall's expansive colours (red and yellow) gradually change into the cooler tones of blue and green. The end result is a combination of the intellect and the emotional, both static and changing. The Artwork represents the viewpoint that the universe is immense and changing yet able to be viewed in personal, human terms.

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