Thursday, 15 December 2011

Calling a spade a digging implement


This is an art installation - or a sculpture - in the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney in Bridge Street in the city, which is on the site of the original government house in the 1790s. Created by Peter Collins in 2010, it is called 'Tides Turn'. Made of eucalypt sticks and steel mesh, the artist declares it to be 'a wave that escaped the ocean, dressed up in sticks and went to shore looking for blood'. One of the exhibits in the Musuem at the moment is on the history of surfing in Australia.


To my mind, the resemblance to an indigenous gunyah, or humpy, is overwhelming. These were the shelters that the original inhabitants of this land used for shelter at the time of European settlement. Also, the way the sticks have been woven together resemble the creation of the panels for brushwood fencing, one of the ways that people nowadays use to section off their particular parcel of land. I find this sculpture discombobulating. There is an undercurrent that is concerning. a wolf in sheep's clothing.

14 comments:

Rachel said...

I like this sculpture a lot! And I really like all of the angles that you shot it at. That really makes me feel as if I am there. I would talk my kids into letting me get a shot of them cowering under the wave as if it was about to crash down on them. - That quote from the artist made me laugh! "...looking for blood..." How delightfully fairytale-wicked.

Steffe said...

It can look like this in my back garden every now and then.

J Bar said...

I remember seeing this at Sculpture by the Sea last year. It makes me wonder how they transport it around without damaging it.

Ann said...

I don't think I've seen that sculpture. I see the resemblance to a gunyah.

Peter said...

Beautifully taken, it is like the Peter Weir film - The Last Wave.

Bob Crowe said...

Surf's up, as far as I can tell. Despite the artist's statement, I do not find it threatening. It's too limited and feels more like an organic link to the sea.

Mark said...

Great post and interesting sculpture.

brattcat said...

undercurrent...

diane b said...

I love that word discombobulating I had to look it up, to throw into confusion. Where do you learn these big words. Mrs librarian I guess is the answer.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I agree, it's a little kind of 'threatening' .. if it moves, run for the hills Julie haha!

Joe said...

It's a real talking point this one. Almost apocalyptic.

Joan Elizabeth said...

discombobulating ,,, where on earth did that word come from, like Diane I had to look it up. I like the sculpture ... actually find it funny what people think up to do.

Breathtaking said...

In the right setting this sculpture
could look stunning,as it is, it just looks out of place.It would look better in my garden!!!

Julie said...

I agree that this sculpture looks out of place. Totally. Actually, I do not like it at all. I do not like what it literally represents, and I do not like the connotations one little bit.