Urban Field is an interactive installation that reflects upon cycles of construction, settlement and reclamation in the built environment. Buildings are repeatedly placed within a grid structure only to be consistently overwhelmed by environment, atmosphere and time.
In this work, an alien grid is imposed upon the landscape, irrespective of context. The grid ignores the topography and the nuanced meshwork of orientations and histories that are hidden from the unthinking eye. The terrain is carved into abstract blocks of varying size and orientation and classified according to condition. Meanwhile, homogenous buildings are assembleden masseaccording to an optimistic set of instructions. The act of assembly is ritualistic and compelling in its sheer scale and intensity. The buildings are then placed within the grid and left to degrade. In time, all that remains is the archaeology of repetitious effort and the awareness of the conflicting complexities of what it is to build, to dwell, and to think.
This work was a floor-based temporal installation that grew from a quiet obsession with the ceiling in the Australia Square foyer. The ceiling was understood as a repetitious pattern of solid and void. The installation questioned the stark solid-void duality and investigated the invisible or barely-perceived physical matter that occupies the void spaces. The voids were reconsidered as positive volumes that have the capacity to cast a ‘shadow’ upon the floor. Fine particulate matter, a tangible physical component of air and a standard indicator of air quality, was captured and arranged on the floor plane in an intricate geometric pattern that placed the floor in direct visual dialogue with the ceiling.
The installation was comprised of two parts separated by external glass wall – one part was inside the foyer, and the other part continued outside. Inside, the voids of the ceiling grid were referenced on the floor using areas of finely crushed glass arranged directly on the floor. The crushed glass is considered as particulate matter, a luminous representation of the invisible suspended matter of the air. Outside, the solids of the ceiling grid were hand cut out of water-soluble embroidery film to form a geometric ‘web’, which was interspersed with areas of black silica. During the evening, performers and the audience sprayed a fine mist of water on the film, slowly dissolving the work until it disappeared completely. In this work, solid and void were inverted, reversed and imaginatively multiplied across the horizontal planes of the building.
This work explores the intersection of art, architecture and landscape and is part of a sequence of bespoke spaces that respond to the specific conditions of a garden site. This iteration is made especially for small children.
A jewel-like space of colour and delight is positioned within the garden to function as a hideout, cubby, and retreat. Visitors sit within the space and quietly absorb the kaleidoscopic effects of colour and pattern in relation to the surrounding landscape.
House for a Lost Tree focuses on pattern-making and is influenced by the forms and structures of the natural world. The flexible leaf-like cladding rhythmically overlaps to mix colours and generate rich geometries to produce an immersive, atmospheric and contemplative space in the landscape.
Eden Garden, Sydney; birch plywood, blackbutt, polypropylene, steel; approx. 2m diameter, 2.5m high.
Particulate Matter is a site-specific installation investigating Shanghai’s atmosphere. Data reflecting the fine particulate matter in the air is ordered and coloured according to concentration, season, and wind conditions. On still days, the particulate matter renders the air visible and it hangs there—everywhere—as toxic matter to be wrestled, resisted, filtered. On windy days, the air is invisible again, but spaces are torn into the atmosphere by fast moving particulate matter. The structure of the atmosphere is interrupted, its composition compromised and patterns of violent intrusion dominate the skyline.
We lost a tree. Its felling was devastating. We sat atop its freshly sawn trunk and grieved, and then we needed to make a restorative space. We studied artichokes. We studied onions. We studied tulips. And then we built this.
Remains of a dead eucalypt, Fijian Cedar, Maple, steel, polypropylene, cable ties. And a mirror ball.
The Liquid Air (Breathing Structure) explores relationships between atmospheric pollution and ocean acidification through a collaboration between artist-architect Ainslie Murray and marine spatial ecologist Renata Ferrari. The work is developed from images of eroded branching corals and infant corals struggling to survive in the acidified ocean. A complex three-dimensional ‘breathing’ structure is threaded through an architectural space to explore parallels between underwater structures (branching corals) and atmospheric structures (built environments).
An image of a devastated souk in Aleppo, Syria, is grafted onto a Coal Loader tunnel. A dialogue emerges through the restorative act of hand-stitching, quietly suggesting a sense of the global and an empathy for the other in a distant place and context.
Vinyl Mesh, Nylon
approximately 5 x 2.5m
Installation view at the Coal Loader, Waverton, Sydney
Photograph by Daily Telegraph photojournalist Will Wintercross