BØN541 v3.0

BØN541 v3.0 is the third in my BØN541 series, exploring the form of bonsai trees, using recycled & salvaged materials.

This work was created to be a setpiece for the 2018 staging of Rent, the musical, by Matt Ward Entertainment, at QPAC Brisbane. It is the largest work I’ve produced so far, and is constructed primarily from corrugated plastic water pipe, which is suspended using the truss and chain from my 2012 work Reconfigure.

The work features three major parts:

The play’s designer provided a bunch of old car hubcaps as a material she wanted featured, as well as decorations for the branches, in the form of aluminium cans cut into flower-like shapes, which the cast and crew produced. The designer also provided icicle (fairy) lights, to match the look of the hanging points of light I had included in my VR-based design.

Aside from that, the actual form of the work, the construction solutions and the materials from which it was made, were my responsibility.


Background of the Project:

I was approached by the designer of the play, who had seen my earlier work BØN541 v2.0 and wanted something similar for the Xmas tree that is created by a character in the play. The designer had a goal of involving “real” fine artists on the project, on account of the play being, in aspects, celebration of the 1980s New York art scene.

My initial idea was to build a welded steel armature of triangular cells, almost like 1980s-era computer graphics, into which various junk could be threaded. This was my first option, since welded steel is the only way to get the necessary combination of spannable distance, thinness and (relatively) light weight. Unfortunately, the production lacked the budget to spin up this process.

Bamboo Version

The next idea I proposed, was to use dozens of long stalks of bamboo, in place of a traditional tree trunk. I also developed the base in response to feedback that the specific shape of the base of BØN541 v2.0 was a highly desired part of the project. This would be both cheap, and solve the engineering problem, since bamboo is self-supporting.

However, the response was that it wasn’t “metal” enough, and that the design was being kept very literal to the script, the tree being specifically referred to as made of metal.

From these constraints, came my eventual solution – to use the hanging infrastructure I had already created for 2012’s Reconfigure, to create a vertically-suspended version of 2014’s BØN541 v2.0.

Coincidentally, at this time, I was working on a Virtual Reality project at the Cooroy Library makerspace, and so I was able to use this new VR toolset to actually design the work at life-size:

The choice of materials was dictated by budget – we couldn’t afford the stainless steel braided pipe used for the other BØN541 series works, but I realised there was something I had worked with previously – agricultural water pipe, which I had used when creating my 2011 sculpture This?

Sprayed silver, it would have a metallic appearance (in a Dr. Who sort of way), and the corrugations provide a way to secure the hanging points so that they can’t slip along its length.

So, with a decision on materials, and a clear vision on the form of the work, I was ready to begin production.


Construction:

Building the base.

Strengthening the truss.

truss
Upgraded, strengthened and complete.

Creating the trunk.

Packing everything away for bumpin.


I did this project for free, and loaned some rather expensive equipment to the production, because I wanted to see it succeed.

I wish the show well, and hope that my contribution is acknowledged.

Special thanks to the QPAC people I worked with – a brilliant, professional rigging team who got my work hoisted and in place at the Cremorne Theatre.


Dissent

Dissent was an entry for Sculpture By The Sea Bondi 2014. It was accepted for the exhibition, but unfortunately I was unable to secure funding to cover the estimated $15,000 construction cost, and so I had to withdraw from the exhibition.

The work combines the pipe and valve material language of my steel sculpture, with the massing and repetition of objects that is a part of my wall sculpture and photographic practice. It arrays a field of identical (but for one) anthropomorphised valve figures, whose arrangement creates dynamic moiré patterns as clear lines of sight through the work appear, shift, and then disappear.

My goal was to capture an experiential quality similar to that which I felt while standing amidst Antony Gormley’s A field for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. However, rather than the godlike delight one feels while standing within Gormley’s work, looking down at the upturned faces, and perhaps naive adoration from the figures, it is my intent for the viewer to experience something else – that precise moment for a person in power, at which the spell of obsequious conformity amongst countless supplicants is broken by a single dissenter returning their gaze.

The dissenter either proves us wrong, or forces us to be more right.


BØN541 v2.0

BØN541 v2.0 was created for the University of Western Sydney Sculpture Award & Exhibition 2014. It’s constructed from computer motherboards, and braided stainless steel hosepipe over a stainless steel armature.

The work was supported with a material sponsorship by Convoluted Technology Pty Ltd, who supplied the braid.

This work has since been disassembled, and its materials recovered.

Details

  • Computer motherboards
  • Stainless  & galvanised steel armatures
  • Stainless Steel braided hose
  • Brass plumbing fittings
  • Copper Wire

A dawn photo shoot:


Reconfigure

This is Reconfigure, a work which takes the thematic elements of earlier steel and valve works like “This?“, and translates them into different materials.

The work consists of two parts – a chain structure made out of oiled recycled wood, and a length of recycled ferry mooring rope.

For a permanent installation, the chain could be attached close to a ceiling via the stainless steel eye-nuts, rather than the temporary truss structure in these images. It can be reshaped side to side, and the droppers adjusted up to 3 metres, allowing the sculpture to be adapted to suit whatever space it’s in.

Details

  • Oiled reclaimed wood.
  • Reclaimed Sydney Ferry mooring rope.
  • Stainless Steel cable & fittings.
  • Dimensions variable. Approximately 9.9m long x 3m high.
  • Available to order in custom sizes.

Here are some examples of possible alternate configurations for the work. In this case, the mooring loop was taken off the end of the rope. Left on, the work could effectively capture the moment of the thrown mooring line in the air.


That.

From the first sluice gate in an irrigation ditch, to the modern industrial world, or the vessels of our circulatory system, the valve is a concept that for me, captures a fundamental structure within life.

Its purpose is to restrict or block that which passes through it, yet in doing so, it enables whatever it is restricting. It is an adversity device, the challenge against which successes are measured, the setback against which we aim higher, limitation in all of its forms which inspires our greatest achievements.

This valve is neat, a clean example of industrial-strength control and protection. It supports a corroded pipe, which left in the elements will corrode further, until it is replaced by new sections which can begin the corrosion cycle anew. Looking through the pipe, the half-moon view created by the valve’s partially closed gate, occludes and frames whatever vista the work is oriented towards.

This work is a finalist in the 2012 University of Western Sydney Sculpture Award & Exhibition. The exhibition takes place from May 4th – June 3rd 2012.

Details

  • Painted steel, raw steel & found object.
  • Dimensions h,w,d (approx): 1.6m, 3.4m, 0.8m.
  • For sale  $6000 + delivery.
Construction

This?

The flow of silvery liquid interrogating and investigating the valve that constricts it. Materials are painted steel, and a gate valve.

Details

  • Painted steel, raw steel and found object.
  • Painted section is rustproofed & painted with Automotive paint
  • For sale $3500 +delivery
Construction

There.

The third of my large scale valve works, There. is a combination of right angles and curves in raw steel with the patina of industrial use worn proudly.

Details

  • Raw and painted steel
  • Dimensions h,w,d (approx): 1.7m, 1.2m, 1.3m,
  • For sale $1200 + delivery

There?

An attempt to create a smaller version of “There”, and tackle the problems of relative scale in the various components. When changing the scale of a sculpture, one has to take into account some fundamental issues to do with viewing angle, viewing distance, perceived weights etc.

Details

  • Waxed steel & brass valve.
  • Dimensions h,w,d (approx): 29, 17, 14 cm.
  • For sale $150 + delivery.

C45C4D3

A tumbling progression from order to chaos, in brilliant gold recycled computer motherboards.

Details

  • Computer mother boards on board.
  • Dimensions hwd (m): 2.15, 1.22, 0.25.
  • For sale $1000 +delivery
Construction

kØi

A fusion of impressionist colour placement and Japanese Koi imagery.

Details

  • Computer mother boards on board.
  • Dimensions l,w,h: 1.22, 0.28, 1.88m
  • In private collection
Construction