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.
Gathering Shadows is a site responsive installation that responds to the changing cultural history of the Coal Loader, Waverton, from its indigenous heritage, land use on the site, its role in facilitating the coal mining industry through to its current role as a centre for sustainability on the harbour foreshore.
The work considers our inter-dependence with site histories (indigenous, animal, geological) and the potential future consequences of our collective actions and inaction towards environmental ecologies.
Notions of temporal flows, site ruptures and dis-ruptures, surface wounds and healing are investigated.
The work explores clay as a media shaped by human touch and the ceramic traditions of containment. Unable to hold back their contents shells, small animal bones, charcoal and bricks flow and spill in the shadows of the ceramic forms.
Suzanne Davey, The Gravity of Moments, fabric, steel, resin, 350cm x 350cm x 350cm
The Gravity of Moments is a large suspended installation that flutters in the breeze. The work is featured in Sculpture in the Glen, along with 50 local, national and international artists work and includes small indoor and large outdoor sculptures in a variety of media. The exhibition is curated by Penny Philpott and celebrates Glen Street Theatre’s 30th anniversary. It opens 5 September and continues untill 25 October 2015. The ethereal sculpture responds to its theatrical site and bushland gardens.
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
Suzanne Davey, Configuring Wonder, fabric, sticks, bamboo, 8 m x 6 m x 1 m
Configuring Wonder is an installation that responds to the world heritage site of Scenic World (Blue Mountains, Australia) as a tourist attraction, a natural ‘wonder’, and a delicate ecosystem. It was created for ‘Sculpture at Scenic World 2013’ and exhibited along with the work of 35 other selected Australian and International artists.
Suzanne Davey, Configuring Wonder, fabric, bamboo, sticks, 8 m x 6 m x 1 m
Classical notions of beauty include three ’ingredients’: symmetry, proportion and harmony. These notions are also principles of composition throughout art history and abundantly evident in the natural world. Configuring Wonderapplies these principles and explores the discord between notions of beauty and wonder and the use of nature by man. Using the ever present polygon in nature as the foundation for multiple forms they are distorted by the straining of delicate sticks against fabric, tied and tethered all while awkwardly ‘performing’ for the viewer. Between the large number of forms, and their interactions with the flora of the rain forest there is an uncomfortable striving for balance and equilibrium amongst excess (the golden mean).
Suzanne Davey, Configuring Wonder, fabric, bamboo, sticks, paint, 8 m x 6 m x 1 m
The work integrates closely with the site, allowing ferns and small trees to protrude through the installation. Over 60 fabric sculptures are configured in a large diamond shape covering 24 square metres and suspended on a wire net above the floor of the rain forest.
Configuring Wonder, detail of installation unit, fabric, sticks, bamboo, 80 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm
The fabric sculptures are varied in size and shape: some are tethered to bamboo frames and stretched and contorted; others are attached to a golden framework with sticks pushing and distorting the surface. In sunlight the forms are semi-translucent with the outline of delicate sticks visible through the fabric.
Configuring Wonder, detail of installation unit, fabric, sticks, bamboo, 65 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm
Configuring Wonder, detail of fabric sculpture units for installation
The installation was created in response to a site visit in 2012 and took into account the unique physical and aesthetic qualities of its location.