Building monuments and folding forts upon a slippery ocean and a moving sky, 2021

Commissioned by the Gus Fisher Gallery, this installation signals a return to sculpture… and a preoccupation with the form, geometry and materiality of objects. Building monuments and folding forts upon a slippery ocean and a moving sky is informed by the artist’s experiences of warehouse labour and his time moving and stacking boxes in distribution centres in Auckland.

Presented in multiplicity, stacked uniformly and towered high, the sculptural configurations impact the room’s layout and how we experience it. Considerations of scale, placement and weight meet with bodies in space, each configuration dictating how we encounter the room and where we can fit into its sculptural arena. Blue tarpaulin and its deep colour is evocative of tones of sea and sky which are placed in dialogue with their cardboard counterparts.

The apparent solidity of the formations brings into question the fragility of its cardboard base—a material able to be dented, ripped and weakened with water. As hollow vessels, their solidity is illusory as objects whose function is as containers to be filled. Rearranging and stacking these boxes requires repeated action and precision. With identical proportions, the boxes lend themselves to formation yet bringing them into exact alignment is a task where methodologies of stacking and building become a means of striving for perfection – Excerpts from Gus Fisher Gallery exhibition.

Image credit: Ian Powell