A few months ago I described an exciting new scupture being created by Chris Booth near Government House in Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden. I didn't mention then that this piece of art will cost $4.5 million to design and build.
It's important to record here the commitment made by generous benefactor and art-lover Ronald Johnson in bequesting a major piece of art to Sydney in his Will. I'm thrilled of course that the Royal Botanic Gardens was selected as the location.
Today I can show you pictures of the sculpture in progress. The top picture is of the 'quartz form', a skin of least 22,000 threaded quartz pebbles over this stainless steel skeleton. A shield design used in local Sydney Aboriginal rock carvings will be a feature of the 'weaving' - the next picture shows this shield being prepared, ready for threading into the rock blanket.
The quartz structure will be designed to encourage local microbats to live inside.
The larger 'sandstone form' will be three undulations made of the large blocks below. More than 200 blocks of Hawkesbury sandstone will create waves alluding to the land under the pressure of tectonic forces. There will be shrubs and other plantings associated with the sandstone, and this form will be home to lizards and other (safe) creepy crawlies.
Next month we'll hold a smoking ceremony and formal launch of the sculpture creation, but the whole project will take many months to complete. As I said last time, "...come and watch a sculptor at work in one of the most beautiful settings in the world".