With the bulk of the initial research already done, I have moved onto the actual construction of the sculpture and the part I enjoy the most. I love building and working with my hands, it is calming. The initial design above is guiding me in the overall structure, but as each part is taking shape, I am refining the small technical details regarding the gears and structural joins. The sculpture would be very easy if it was not moving, but the rotation is what will be creating the music score and also bringing life to the piece. The electronics for the solar power are planned to be hidden within the arms and under the main plate and this requires some planning so that the entire structure doesn’t twist itself apart.
Cycle 1 – Visual design aesthetics and fabrication
Act: Design the initial concept drawing.
Observe: Does the visual appearance express the message of the connection of coal and the environmental death of the coral to the audience?
Reflect: The aesthetics of the design are slowly being updated as I go through the process too. While the initial design and coverings with succulent plants will remain, I am thinking of having half of each of the six arms covered in black coal and the other half in the brightly coloured plant life to really contrast the life and death aspects of the sculpture.
The panels around the base of the sculpture were designed to more directly send the message I wanted with the whole piece and therefore I am sticking with the bold and direct quotes, images and as the whole sculpture rotates, these messages will display.
#1 Coral Not Coal
#2 Sustainably co-existing with our planet
#4 Please Save Me
#5 $56b economic, social & icon value. $6.4b contributed to Australian Economy annually
#6 One of the 7 natural wonders of the world in our own backyard
largest living organism on the planet
The sculpture is also very visually based and I’m finding that the micro aspect which can be viewed up close and the larger shape of the whole piece should mimic each other. The small geometric designs engraved on the arms will represent the overall larger scale imagery.
Act: Communicating the overall intent of the sculpture through each small piece will ensure the message is clear overall. The shape of the sculpture along with the succulent plant life will represent the coral shape. The bright colors of the plants, the black coal on half of each of the arms and the white bleached frame will follow through with this concept.
The textual messages on the wooden boards at the base of the sculpture will directly express the message to the audience.
Fabrication is currently underway and further observation will occur once this stage is more complete. I’m still working on how I can make the sculpture interactive with the audience, initial ideas are to ask people to take a picture with the sculpture and post it online with their message with the hashtag #coralnotcoal
Cycle 2 – Auditory musical composition, production & publishing
Act: I’m working on the musical melody loop that represents a birth and death cycle, major to minor and fitting this into 32 8th notes. The tube chime mechanics have also been calculated and some have been cut to ensure the tones are loud enough and acoustically pleasing.
Cycle 3 – Documentation and exegesis
Act: In answering how I can enact the change I want in my sculpture I have spoken to #stopadanigoldcoast and HOTA (Home of the Arts Gold Coast) about working towards a display or exhibition of the sculpture in August. Tying the sculpture in with the #stopadanigoldcoast movement will help develop an audience and some press for the piece. In addition, I have started to put together a website at http://guycooper.com.au/poseidon/ to collate all the blogs and images of the work in progress. This site will also be the final digital public delivery of the sculpture, song and videos.