Canberra's Public Art on a Tablet

The city of Canberra has long embraced public art and I'm talking about the good stuff, not what looks like leftovers from a building site that have been cobbled together because no-one wanted to pay for a dump truck (not that the latter doesn't exist in Australia's capital city ... the sculpture at the intersection of Barton Highway and Gungahlin Drive, anyone?) 

Anyway, I do enjoy photographing sculpture — I love being able to move 360 degrees around an artwork, to explore it from all different angles. The context of public art is also richer and very different from the blank walls of a gallery. The surrounding scape can add so much, or even completely change, its meaning. 

James Turrell's "Within Without" in the gardens of the National Gallery of Australia starts as a grass-covered mound, similar to an English barrow, those round burial mounds Bronze Age   chieftains are buried in. Inside, however, the "architecture" is somewhere between Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece — and the symmetry is just mesmerising.

I took the above image on my Motorola Xoom tablet, processing it in the Pixlr-o-matic application. At 6" x 8", this is one of the few photography applications that allows a decent print size.

The form of Andrew Rogers' "Perception and Reality 1" at the revamped Canberra Airport is equally ancient with a capital "A", like a shot put competitor at the Olympics when all competitors were naked (not that women were allowed to compete or even watch!). The lighting and background, of course, are pure neon ... a vibrant mix of primary colours.

To make up for the tiny size of Urbian's Retro Camera application (about the size of a Polaroid 600), I took a cue from Sam Haskins — who first made me realise multiple images, similar or juxtaposed, can be montaged together — and doubled-up on shots.

I was actually picking Justin up from a work trip and, while other partners hugged and kissed, he disembarked to find me crouched in front of the pubic hair of this striking, yet slightly shock bronze sculpture!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wonderful! I will look out for this now.