Project Name: Echoes of a Wetland

Artist: Jade Oakley

Materials: Stainless steel, acrylic, resin, solar panels

Dimensions: 5 @ 7m

Description: The Green Square site was once natural wetlands. A series of small lakes, freshwater creeks and meadows, teeming with wildlife. Over the years the land has been reclaimed, the wetlands filled in with dirt and rubble, the middens covered by development.

When I see the site of the entry triangle interior I imagine a series of wondrous long skinny mobiles adorning the space. Resurrections of middens from its past.

A midden tells us a story. Enormous ancient piles of shell and bone, middens were formed by the sites indigenous inhabitants. We learn not just about the diet of Aboriginal people in an area, but also about their way of life. This is where Aboriginal people gathered to eat, sitting by the waters edge, talking, sharing food. The story of the midden carries on to the present day, its recent chapters telling us of European indifference towards this lands indigenous heritage.

In this concept middens are the echoes of a wetland, and of the people and animals that once lived here.

Designed to play on the natural light afforded by the extensive glass façade, the midden mobiles will create spectacular effects with iridescent, reflective elements.

The mobiles are designed to move in response to people entering the library. A sensor activates the first mobile to gently turn, then the next, and so on. The lightweight sculptures will twist in on themselves and then release, creating captivating shapes as the configuration of each mobile unravels. The reflective dichroic elements will wash the floor and ceiling of the entry space with moving refractions of soft coloured light.

The mobiles will refract the natural light that streams in during the day, and at night it’s impact will be concentrated to the floor of the entry, with directional lighting from the ceiling. Depending on the strength of the light, the refractions may also spill onto the pavement surrounding the entry.

Each midden mobile will be adorned with formed dichroic acrylic elements. Shaped with soft curves, irregular edges, and a colourful lustre inspired by fragments of fine shell. Installed onto the sloping ceiling, the largest mobile spans 7 meters and each mobile will hang approximately 4 meters from floor level. They will fill the space, while not overwhelming it due to the lightness of the design.

The mobiles will be fitted with individual solar powered motors. This would be dependent on the opportunity to place solar panels onto the roof of the building. The middens being resurrected from and powered by nature represent the cyclic patterns of the living environment.

The Entry Triangle Interior will embody a vibrant sense of energy as each mobile gently moves in response to a new visitor. During peak times the space will represent the flurry of the masses, and when quiet the artwork will respond to the individual in an intimate interactive display.

The mobiles are intended to captivate the viewer and evoke memories of the sites past uses and its significance.