My most recent artwork, Silent Gesture, was exhibited at Watch This Space gallery together with 6 other artists, including from interstate, local and elsewhere in the Territory. It is a very big hand (2.4m high) and is an experiment in using materials that enable a view of internal structure as well as defining the final surface.

Installing the big hand

Installing the big hand

The gesture is the final posture of a hand movement used by local people in hand-signing and generally means  “What’s going on?” or  “What’s up?”. This sculpture is to remind us of communication networks and how our hands are probably the earliest form of mobile device capable of allowing visual communication over distance.

Having learnt a technique called Bojagi, a traditional Korean method for sewing garments and other items, at a workshop by textile artist Philomena Hali, I decided to use black fibreglass fly-wire mesh sewn together with sailing twine for the surface of the sculpture.

To make the armature, ie. the structure which defines the from, I bent steel rods with my bare hands, knees, feet and chest! – with a vice or clamp, an anvil, hammers and much grunting and even cracking one of my ribs!

Since the armature is intended to be seen through the transparent covering, my design of curving lines of steel was crucial. This made extremely awkward and difficult work for my very patient welder, Steve Anderson. No straight lines and no grid to hold the joins in place!