A site responsive installation exhibited at the historic Coal Loader, Waverton, as part of the North Sydney Art Prize, curated by Alison Clark. The work was located on the Coal Loader Platform, surrounded by community garden beds. It extends and builds upon The Garden of Cruel Delights photographic series exploring our inter-relationships with plants.
The Coal Loader is an exchange zone between us, plants and environmental forces, where flora experience constant transformation through our destructive and constructive actions. Tactile and material interventions performed on living plants are utilised to examine concepts such as empathy, control, adaptation to showcase the power of plants to lead us to better futures.
Suzanne Davey The Unfurling 10m x 3m x 2m, recycled clothing, resin, steel
The Unfurling is a large scale site responsive installation of suspended body ‘voids’ created from recyled clothing and resin, harnessing wind and light. The work was exhibited as part of the North Sydney Art Prize 2015 at the Coal Loader Waverton. The site is located on the shores of Sydney harbour and examines the coast as a place of sanctuary.
The Unfurling is a response to the debate surrounding vulnerable populations arriving on Australian shores and beyond, and the human costs. Individual rights and national interests are given precedence over collective human rights. Tragedy grips people dreaming of sanctuary but who are subjects to forces beyond their control through war, politics and discrimination.
Clothing is utilised as a social and cultural signifier of identity, memory and psychological ties with others. The clothes become traces of the bodies that once occupied them, ‘voids’, and on mass symbolise the collective struggles of vulnerable people.
Wind choreographs movement in the collective and subjects them to elemental forces beyond their control. The sculptures are translucent and reflect natural light as they move.
The work was inpired by the poems of Mena Johnson, a poet that I collaborated with for the On Islands project at Eramboo Artist Environment.
The Unfurling installation detail On Islands project
The Unfurling installation view On Islands project
The Unfurling installation video showing movement, On Islands project
The Unfurling installation details On Islands project
The Unfurling bushand installation view On Islands project
bamboo, fishing line, paint, fabric, 70 cm h x 450cm l x 180cm w
On the Edge is an ephemeral kinetic installation exploring balance and counterbalance in the elemental landscape; the ebb and flow of tides, bobbing boats and floating buoys, and the waft of sea breezes. Inspired by the movement of cranes, it responds to the Coal Loader as a site that seeks equilibrium between its industrial heritage, community usage and as a delicate ecosystem on the edge of the harbour.
A site responsive work exhibited at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, Waverton for The North Sydney Art Prize: toward 2020 exhibition 27 July – 5 August 2013