Floating Land ~ Outdoor Gallery Review

Stephen Guthrie and Lindy Atkin – Bark Lab Growth, Installation @ Urunga Parade, Floating Land Festival 2013

Floating Land ~ Outdoor Gallery Review

Sandra Conte


1 October 2013

Taking in the beauty of the outdoor gallery of the Floating Land Festival, (May 31-June 9) at the principal activity site of Boreen Point on Lake Cootharaba, I allowed my path and camera to be led by a bird that appeared to be taking in the installations. Viewing the sea of works alongside my feathered friend was nothing short of captivating. Here’s a glimpse of the installations which were on display for the duration of the Festival - as near to A Bird’s Eye View as eARTh e-mag can provide.

Words from Floating Land, Nature’s Dialogue Program, 2013. www.floatingland.com.au

Judy Barrass
Converging Realities, Installation@Urunga Parade

Converging realities explores the possibility of creating a new hybrid landscape of mixed realities and experiences and draws attention to the reciprocity of our relationship with nature. The artist used chairs as a metaphor, they were clearly constructed, and sometimes coated in paint, but they remained steadfastly organic, questioning the place of man as either an alien presence or part of the natural world. Projection and light reflection (best seen at night) added a further dimension to the story. A new reality being forged from the convergence of old and new and the opposing or symbiotic contributions from mankind and nature. A new hybrid reality is born from converging realities.

Stephen Guthrie and Lindy Atkin – Bark Lab
Growth, Installation@Urunga Parade

Bark Lab is a creative collective offshoot of Bark Design Architects and is led by local architects Stephen Guthrie and Lindy Atkin. Bark Lab focuses on creative collaborations through their everyday design processes and listens to nature’s dialogue by reading the site and landscape. From the man-made to the organic and back, Bark Lab reconnected people with the natural environment with a series of participatory physical constructs that would ‘grow’ and provide an inextricable link to the landscape.

Elizabeth Poole 
BIRD iView. Installation@Boreen Parade

Elizabeth finds inspiration from the fragile and visually fragmented Australian bush. The project was created around spiderwebs, which are constructed in such a way that they are visible to birds, preventing them from flying into the webs. Her project was inspired by a German glass company which has imitated the spider’s natural intelligence by superimposing a special UV reflective, linear pattern coated into the glass. This is only visible to birds, potentially saving millions of bird deaths from collision. Her work represents the visible and invisible aspect of our landscape. BIRD iView explored how humans continue to utilise nature’s intelligence and use sustainable technology based on this information.

APIS (Honey Bee)
ArtMakers Noosa Ellen Appleby, Liana Volpe, Linda Perry and Lane Sladovich, Installation@Boreen Parade

Four artists who primarily practice in ceramics and mixed media created an ephemeral installation of sculptural beehives on the foreshore at Boreen Point. Insects such as bees play a critically important role in the balance of the ecosystem and food production. These sculptural hives represented the increased urbanisation and separation of society with nature and the plight of the bees.

James Muller, Michel Tuffery
Detail from Reading Clouds – Floating Middens, Installation@The Esplanade 26

The first collaborative artwork by James Muller (Australia) and Michel Tuffery MNZM (Aotearoa – New Zealand), this installation acknowledged the history, physical geography and navigational links of the wider Pacific region and its peoples, holding two registers. ‘Reading Clouds’ considered ideas of perception, sensory cartography and how genuine knowledge of place can define movement in physical and cultural forms. The sculpture responded to the elements of wind, water and light. Floating Middens is a literal reference to the shell being a revered child of Tangaroa, a well-known creator God embedded throughout Pacific mythology and the use of the hyper-sized shell forms are a reference to an archeological midden and prior occupation. From shore to sky, Reading Clouds – Floating Middens defined a trace between the past and present. Both installations exerted natural materials and man-made technologies and transformed from day to night with video projection or LED lighting.
Simon McVerry
A Tail of a Fish and a Fishery, Installation@The Esplanade 22

Simon’s aspirations include the guiding principles of protection of the environment, care of people and sustainable use of resources. A tail of a fish and a fishery tells the story of the Mullet, the watery world it lives in and of the people who have worked and still work in this local fishery. This project, in collaboration with Julara, emphasised the importance of the local mullet and local sustainable fisheries, dispelling common misconceptions on this fish species.


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