Client: The State of Western Australia
Location: Perth, Australia
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $636,500
Wood and Grieve Engineers
Big Spoon Art Services
Wahlberg Motion Design
State of Western Australia represented by the Department of Treasury
The artwork is formed as two separate ‘flowers’, each 8m diameter. Each flower has eight petals. Each petal is a three layered vacuum formed polycarbonate translucent 'pillow' with programmable LED lighting within. Each petal is supported by three cables and three programmable winches. The 48 winches are programmed to move the petals through 24m of vertical space in a choreographed sequence throughout the day and evening.
The 48 DMX controlled winches were custom made for this project. Lighting is powered via the supporting cables with wireless signal control to each petal.
Buoyant is intended to create a joyous, playful and intriguing hospital environment unlike any institutional building encountered before, with an internal space filled with a floating ballet of shapes. The artwork is intended to reduce stress and boredom in the hospital patients, staff and visitors alike; making for a more interesting environment that promotes faster healing and shorter hospital stays. This in turn has significant economic benefits to the State as the provider of free health care.
Buoyant takes the New Children's Hospital's tall cathedral like space of the atrium and populates it with large floating forms that silently drift throughout the entire vertical space
The work can be seen as an abstract ballet of softly gliding forms in space, overlaying and overlapping each other with cast shadows projected onto the walls and floors to create moving abstract shapes in themselves. Combined together, the eight petals form the image of the flower that coalesces before breaking apart again.
Buoyant is a result of the collaboration of many different talents that support the overarching artistic vision of the artist. Movement control and hardware was custom made for this project with winches being designed and manufactured By Wahlberg of Denmark. Big Spoon Art Services provided the design and fabrication of petals, and Wood & Grieve engineers the design of the support frames and overarching certification of all structural elements. Light Application, working closely with Stuart Green, were crucial in designing and programming the movement control system and the lighting shows along with many other safety control features for the work.