Commissioned by the Real Festival, Penrith 2016
North Sydney Art Prize 2017
Crossroads is a public art commission in which I use scale to bring the perspective of the dragonfly to the human experience and thus to imaginatively ‘enter the organism’, its local ecosystem and life world.
With a site-specific work in mind, I chose to reference the dragonfly, as it is a local insect with aesthetic appeal and it serves as a sign of a healthy ecosystem due to its need for pure, unpolluted water.
Working with bamboo, cane and fabrics, I enlarged the scale of the dragonfly by a magnification of 280, a scale designed to be large enough for a human body to fit the wings. Tunnels of supporting 2m bamboo archways mirrored the cross formation of the wings.
Standing at the fulcrum of a 7m wingspan, the viewer could imagine inhabiting the dragonfly’s body space. The giant insect’s orientation toward the river seeks to bring attention to its reliance on clean water to survive.
Within view of the river, I offer the overlay of a dragonfly’s perspective in its natural ecosystem, materialising the principles that animate philosophies of deep ecology.
They cannot live in polluted water and if they die out, their biologically dependent networks will suffer their loss. This work was designed to place the viewer at the intersection of the tunnels; a crossroads brings the onus to the traveller.
During the festival, I watched the public being attracted by the wings’ bright colour and large scale, their shade canopy in the daytime and glowing iridescence at night.
People walked the tunnels and congregated in the middle to experiment with perspective, lining their arms up with the wings to pretend they were flying.