South Georgia Heritage
NEON – Fantastical Architecture, Art and Design
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
South Georgia Heritage Trust launched an open call for a site-specific commission to be located on Grytviken the former whaling station of sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia. The project was required to celebrate the whale through a reinterpretation of the former Flensing Plan (a large timber deck used to process the captured whales) and offer a message of hope for future generations by demonstrating how humankind can move from exploitation to conservation. Our proposal imagines that the deck of the Flensing plan has been cut like a piece of flesh from the ground and bent upwards to form an arc. The timber deck is replaced with concrete pavers which are coloured based on the activities which took place in the sites past and present (whale processing and whale watching). The coloured pavers are positioned to create a gradient which provides the visitor with a visual representation of the way the site has changed over time.
For her show High Tide, which was most recently exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, Humeau sculptured a collection of futuristic marine mammals and set about imagining what they might sound like if they could recount complex narratives. With mechanical clicks and whistles, similar to those made by whales and dolphins, Humeau’s creations tell of a great flood – an apocalyptic deluge that sparked the birth of their culture. “These floods”, she explains, “might be the consequence of climate change and rising oceans and the air becoming toxic. Maybe the great flood is actually us. As humans, we are the flood.”
Thomas Lanfranchi uses lightweight materials to create environmentally responsive sculptures. Many of his projects have been wind blown, taking the form of kites or wind socks. He has installed these pieces at sites across France and on buoys at sea. On a recent visit to Australia he made a journey around the outback, creating and documenting a new airborne sculpture each day to suit the site. Working with a type of plastic commonly used for shopping bags, Lanfranchi is able to make very large structures that are capable of being supported by the lightest breeze. When they are destroyed after the exhibition an object the size of a blue whale collapses into a carrier bag.