Sunday, November 21, 2010

'Icycle'(2010), Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, Warkworth.

Icycle (2010)
Fibreglass, stainless steel, paint, cedar.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trail,
Snell's Beach


Icycle is a whimsical work that plays with scale to combine two objects not normally seen together that come from two opposing scales. This work is also a curiosity, an iceberg presented as a form of confectionery which entices the viewer to approach the work for closer inspection. The slick, white, shiny surface is reminiscent of snowy mountain peaks, and icebergs, but on a model-like scale. In the context of Aotearoa, it is a reminder of the rapidly melting icebergs that passed our southern shores not so long ago.

Although strange and quirky, this sculpture is also alludes to some serious environmental and political issues. Global warming and changes in the ozone layer threaten our safety and even our existence. The excitement of the unusual event of the passing icebergs in 2006 was mixed with the anxiety of its meaning. The concept of melting is also associated with loss, in particular loss associated with both the environment and land. It reminds us of the impact we have had historically in Aotearoa, and that we have on the world today.

'Sky Mirror' (2010), Art in the Dark, Ponsonby, Auckland.

Sky Mirror (2010)
Fibreglass, nylon, thread, plastic,lights.

Sky Mirror
is a colourful, dynamic light work that allows us to reflect on our perception of space as we look down on the work to see what is in reality overhead. The process also alludes to the traditional placement of knowledge and diagrams to be viewed on a horizontal plane when in this case the reality is vertically above the viewer.

The surface image shows an activated diagram of the October night sky with its thousands of stars, including the Milky Way and the major contellations. When installed Sky Mirror will be orientated for the correct reading of the diagram for October 2010.

Art in the Dark (2010) is a new initiative of lightworks by designer Celia Harrison.

Art in the Dark is an interactive community event that was held in the dark in Ponsonby's Western Park on the 15th and 16th of October 2010.

Art in the Dark transformed the park into a temporary community hub, illuminated by installations, projected short films and performances along a walk throughout the park. The entire event is eco-friendly, and all projects were powered by clean energy, with minimal waste. Art in the Dark aims to develop new forms of sustainable practices within the community with a view to inspiring other events and businesses to follow suit.

Long term, the Art in the Dark vision is to not only make the event in Western Park annual, but also to develop and grow community and environmental awareness via smaller events, providing constant opportunities for artists and progressing an artist collective.

'Greensleeve'(2008), product design.

Greensleeve (2008)
Products and Services Part 2
curated by Catherine David, designer and architect.
1-17 December 2008.

Room 103
Archilles House

In the present economic climate there is rising interest in the need to conserve our natural resources. Greensleeve is a nifty product that changes the way you use water in the home and saves you money. The product restricts the opening of a bathroom or kitchen tap to reduce water usage, and unlike other similar products on the market, the Greensleeve can be applied to any water faucet by anyone, anytime, anywhere.

'Snowpads' (2007) Waitakaruru Sculpture Park and Arboretum, Waikato.

Snowpads are four sculptures made from plastic lace, polypropylene and acrylic line, which are designed to float on the pond surface.

This delicate, white, feminine work emphasizes the flatness of the pond surface to make it seem almost illusionistic. The work makes us question our own senses and perceptions as it appears as a perfect geometric form both in the water and with the reflection –also in the sky.
In this way the form seems quite alien, quite out of place, like a spaceship form collaged into the landscape. This feeling of a misplaced form is both disconcerting and alluring.

The Sculpture-in-the-Park show is being organized by Carole Shepheard, as guest curator. Carole is curating this as a group show. She says that ‘ The setting for sculpture is outstanding and without rival and can cater for up to 90 works, however the curatorial position for this exhibition is looking for works that integrate, reflect, challenge and consider this unique environment and which provide audiences with challenges, intrigue and enjoyment.’

Waitakaruru Sculpture Park and Arboretum,

'Bung' (2007) Connells Bay Sculpture Park, Waiheke Island.

Bung (2007) is located at Connells Bay Sculpture Park, Waiheke Island and is part of the Sculpture Trust's permanent collection.

Initially shown beside a natural rock basin in the ocean at Sculpture on the Gulf in 2007, Bung is a work that can make sense in a range of sites. Situated at the end of the white jetty at Connells Bay, it extends the visual language of the land and architecture of the tranquil bay. As it extends beyond the limits of the land, the sculpture operates as a punctuation mark - the dot of an i, or the end of an exclamation mark. Oram particularly enjoys the challenge of designing and making work for dynamic environments. The water, change and the flux of the natural environment has been an on-going interest in her art practice. Bung was developed through researching materials and design in the boat building industry. The colour and materials reference modern boats and the materials used can withstand extreme salt water conditions.

Julia Oram’s art can be seen as political as well as conceptual and she is currently working on a body of work that explores notions of loss, both personal and global. For her it is essential that her work makes a social or political statement, but that it balances this with aesthetics. The tension between these aspects; essentially between reality and beauty, has been an interest and focus for Oram over the past five years. She was both inspired and awed by the sublime appearance of the iceberg flotilla that passed the South Island in 2006, which was a timely reminder of the proximity of the issues around global warming. Changes in the ozone layer and global warming threaten our safety and even our existence. The concept of ice melting is associated with loss, particularly with reference to both the environment and the land. By extension it reminds us of the impact we have had historically in Aotearoa, and that we continue to have on the world today. In a similar vein Bung alludes to environmental and political issues. Oram’s work is serious and thought provoking but also quirky and entertaining. What exactly is this bung doing – is it keeping the water in or out?

'Bung' (2007) Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island

Bung, fibreglass, stainless steel, chain and anchor.
2 metre diameter, .7m depth.

Bung was initially designed to sit beside a natural rock basin in the ocean, beside Waiheke Island. It was part of the Sculpture on the Gulf outdoor sculpture show on Waiheke Island in 2007, which has been renamed Headland: Sculpture on the Gulf.

Bung alludes to the amusing but impossible notion of attempting to plug or control the vast ocean in which it lies. Although at first appearing frivolous it also provides a discourse around island life, in particular the availability of drinking water on the island during summer. The local residents are dependent on tank water and are conscious of the need to preserve, control and plug their precious resource over the hot, dry moths of summer. Although these are serious issues Bung's main purpose is to provide humour and light relief, by surprising visitors on finding a large domestic object floating in the open sea.