Friday, 19 June 2009

Love and grief: an enduring creative force


"A Ringing Glass" - the latest exhibit to inhabit the old boiler rooms on Cockatoo Island - is a 6 room art installation by Ken Unsworth in honour of his wife of 50 years, Elizabeth, who died in October 2008 after an 8 year illness.


Renown for his affection for suspended objects, the installation teems with musical instruments: Elizabeth forgoing a promising career as a pianist to live with Unsworth and support his burgeoning career. Walking through the rooms, reminders of her are everywhere from the steady beat of the drum, to her piano, to her hospital bed, with an ethereal image of her fading in and out of view through a window.

16 comments:

Martina said...

I am not sure what's it with the last photo ... it evokes a great - and little spooky - atmosphere, sad and melancholic, like a very old photo of a sickroom long ago ... in some long deserted hospital ...

Julie said...

That room in particular, Martina, was very affecting. It brought the trauma of her long death immediately into the room. And then to have this very young face fading in and out of the window showed just how much the two of them suffered over those 8 long years.

DelBoy said...

I like the first photo the most - the feeling of space. Reminds me of a kids movie with everything floating around the room like that.
What are you doing posting so early in the morning??

J Bar said...

Very interesting Julie. I've never been out there. Would really like to see it.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

brattcat said...

This series of photos, this exhibit, makes grief tangible. Too many of us can identify with the long days, weeks, months, years of letting go of someone we can't bear to lose and can't bear to watch suffering.

Ann said...

Really interesting to see these with a wider lens than I was using (will put some of mine up soon). Did you use the tripod for the one of the bed, that room didn't work for me hand held - the only one that didn't.

Strange how my shots are coming up darker on screen, maybe I should go to a white background. (and a very basic template, might get rid of a few other problems as well). I was very pleased with Marco's comments about that particular shot as its a favourite of mine, I don't often get that artistic (don't usually see it).

Julie said...

Yes, I used a tripod for this room. It was quite dim, and the fading face was such a challenge ... and the constantly revolving white splodges.

Jim, take a trip out there. At the moment the afternoon is quite cold that close to the water but the light is lovely. Just rug up. You wont regret the trip. Promise.

Ann said...

The CQ shot is from the station but I'm not happy with it. Ended up having to raise the tripod above my head to get over the barrier so couldn't see through the viewfinder (don't have live view), then because there was nothing to focus on, the auto focus wouldn't work so I had it on manual but couldn't see what I was doing. Because it was on manual focus the cable release wouldn't work. Most of them from there were overexposed or out of focus. Its not bad for a first try but it could be a lot better. Mind you, two months ago I wouldn't even have thought of trying a shot like that.

Jacob said...

Absolutely amazing!

Bob Crowe said...

A very moving and original memorial. Very well captured in what I am sure were difficult conditions.

Julie said...

Thank you, Bob. I appreciate your words of support. I know how much you value art.

Virginia said...

Oh my. I don't have the words to expresss how this made me feel. You did a superb job capturing it Julie.
V

Joan Elizabeth said...

I saw something about this exhibition in TV and thought it would be interesting. It clearly is.

Fiona said...

Really potent and moving. The last one is especially atmospheric. I've always loved the endless possibilities installation offers. The expression isn't just visual, seems to take you over almost. This really makes me want to visit Sydney again!

AB said...

I like the strange white spots in the last photo.

JM said...

This post is, literally, fantastic! The 1st shot is so amazing, Julie!