The Tent of Wonders, Sculpture by The Sea, Bondi, 2012
The Installations for Tent of Wonders started with the basic premise that in order to communicate an idea and create maximum empathy with an audience the work has to be authentic. This work explores complex and often keenly argued issues around human activity and its effect on the natural world. I argue, if you want to get people to save an animal species then show them the animal - not a bronze, metal, clay or plastic simulation, but the animal in its most authentic form, its own skin. Only by seeing and recognizing the skin and bone, the fur, the feathers, the talons, the claws, beaks, teeth and scales can the human viewer make the link to their own flesh and blood existence and hopefully want to act to improve the lot of other species. The Tent of Wonders brought together 16 different works that explored issues around biodiversity, pollution, stewardship, hunting, ownership, speciesism, colonization, climate change and human-animal relations. The work is offered as easy to understand bites often with an element of humour to enhance accessibility. The intention is to create a fun but informative collection echoing the carnival sideshow atmosphere of the late 19th and early 20th century.
The Tent of Wonders was inspired by the carnival sideshow and staged amusements of Wonderland City Amusement Park that stood on the Tamarama Beach site just over 100 years ago (closing its gates in 1911). In this site specific work I am interested in the link place and memory have on our collective physic. How thriving human centres of activity extinguish and disappear without a trace - this is such a place.