Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion date: 2020
Billow is a large cloud-like permanent artwork in the lobby of Mingora, a recently renovated recreational club north of Sydney, Australia. The cloud-like form of the piece hangs from a barrel fault in the main entrance and lobby area greeting visitors and members. Just above the piece are three skylights. The artwork was designed to filter light through the skylights during the day. The inner surface of the large form-found intertwined shape is clad with dichroic acrylic. The outer surface is clad with aluminum panels that have folded petals reminiscent of the biodiversity of flora found in Australia’s Central Coast region. The petals also redirect sunlight in unexpected ways as it is cast and filtered through the dichroic filters. During the day the sunlight casts shifting patterns on the neutral barrel vault above. At night subtle shifts in color of the LED fixtures above the piece give it a much more animated quality. The compound surface of aluminum and dichroic changes depending on the color and direction of the light. The dichroic film filters the various spectrums of light that intern reflect off of the aluminum surfaces. This material effects and form produces a sense of the piece being alive and floating with the currents of the space like sea anemone or jellyfish.
The goal was to produce a dynamic artwork at the main entrance of the recently renovated recreational center. The original space has three large skylights and one of the main goals was to create an artwork that would filter sunlight as it came through the skylights. We also wanted to take advantage of the white barrel vault as a surface to cast patterns on. The organic form is driven by its ability to cast light in unexpected ways as well as hang down into the space to engage visitors. The recreational club is also near to the Pacific Ocean, the artwork was also inspired by the shimmering effects of jellyfish and other sea creatures that float along with the currents of water. As we worked with Mingara and Luchetti Krelle we decided we wanted to create an artwork that gives the sense of eddying in a body of water both visually and experientially. The goal was to use the artwork to slow down people as they enter with something that is both visually stunning, but also surprising and different from all angles. The suspended artwork does this while also capturing the spirit of the space and the nature of the surrounding region.
We were approached by Luchetti Krelle as they were developing the interior design for the extensive renovation of Mingara. They specified the entrance as a location for a suspended artwork and had shown the client work by many artists including our studio. The client responded to our work and we worked with the interior designers and the client to develop the final artwork. We worked closely with the interior designers on the placement of the artwork under the newly planned skylights and with the lighting designers to develop dynamic lighting that would make the sculpture appear alive at night.