Perry, S and Cole, S 2006, diver, (Creative Work : Visual art).

Document type: Creative Work
Collection: Creative Works

Title diver
Author(s) Perry, S
Cole, S
Year 2006
Type of work Visual art
Outlet Permenent Public Art Commission, City of Hobson's Bay, Newport Lakes,Melbourne, Australia
Dates installed november 2006
Medium Blue stone
Size/Duration 2.5m x 1800mm x 1800mm
Summary "Artist: Simon Perry Title Diver Medium: Bluestone Size: H2.5m x W1.8m x D1.8m A nation competition won by Simon Perry Commission value $113,000 run through the RMIT Public Art research Unit
Rmit School of Art 'My intention was to design an Artwork that would draw on the history of the Newport lakes site and function as a significant marker for the entrance to the parkland. It was also important that the theme of the work would be accessible and inclusive to a broad cross section of the community and encourage interest and discussion. The site is a reclaimed Bluestone Quarry that was active in the early part of the 20th century. Bluestone is a volcanic stone that was primarily used for ships' ballasts and marine construction. Since being turned into parkland and lakes the site has become a haven for wild life and native flora and is used by the local community for recreation. The Idea for the work was specifically drawn from ducks observed dipping and feeding in the lakes at the Newport site. Of monumental scale, the sculpture will comprise of a feeding duck carved out of bluestone and located at the entrance of the Newport lakes site, on the corner of Mason Street. The Duck will appear to be dipping into the bluestone paving, as though dipping into a pool leaving only its tail visible. The dipping Duck motif relates to the site and its history by combining the material that the landscape is made from and the image of a bird species that inhabits that landscape. The pool/paving at the base becomes a metaphor for memory and history, the action of the duck dipping into this pool looking into that history and reflecting upon our memories and experiences of the parkland. As a marker the sculpture also humorously highlights the location as a point of entry and exit into the site.' The City of Hobsons Bay, in partnership with RMIT Public Art Research Unit, was awarded a research grant to develop a major artwork for the Newport Lakes Redevelopment. The project aimed to create an integrated urban artwork which was both site-specific and addressed issues key to Perry's research of the time, relating to nature/culture, utopia/dystopia construction/deconstruction idealisation and failure.
This project investigates these ideas by using humour and the deferral of readings to engage the viewer spatially, temporally, emotionally and intellectually.
The site is a reclaimed early 1900s bluestone quarry. Bluestone was used locally primarily for ships' ballast and harbour construction and it was widely used for late 19th century buildings in Victoria, including in the local area. This choice of material gave different levels of meaning to the local community.
Since being turned into parkland and lakes for the local community the site has become a haven for wildlife and native flora. The idea of an upended duck is specifically drawn from observing ducks dipping and feeding in these lakes.
The duck appears to be diving into the bluestone paving, as it would into a pool, giving the impression it is investigating something beneath the surface. Fixed in stone it provides metaphors for Perry's research themes. Nature, a duck, vs culture, the manipulated stone; utopia, a parkland moment of feeding ducks, vs dystopia, it will never re-emerge for air, fixed in time, space, still searching but metaphorically drowned. Construction and idealisation vs deconstruction and failure are reflected in the way this work stands as a reminder of the landscape that was before settlement, the promise and fulfilment of a successful quarry, its inevitable abandonment and the rebirth of the site for other uses, where manmade nature takes us back to the first theme.
As a public art marker, the Diver humorously highlights the location as a point of entry and exit."
Subject Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)
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Created: Tue, 19 Apr 2011, 16:45:41 EST
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