If you ever thought you needed fancy, expensive materials to make an impressive piece of art, then you haven’t seen this sculpture by Gabby O’Connor. Called What Lies Beneath, it’s a huge installation that resembles an iceberg. Hanging from a ceiling, it’s made up of thousands of small paper triangles dyed in shades of blue-green, coated in shellac and then stapled together with thousands of staples. Similar to stained glass, light passes through the thin paper casting, albeit through tiny individual holes, creating a gorgeous glow inside the room. It’s like you’ve stepped into an underwater world, looking at a massive iceberg from below.
As The Dominion Post describes it, “Moving around the work in the gallery, there is the eerie sensation of swimming below the water, looking up to bathe in the Earth’s blue atmospheric glow. The iceberg analogy connects with the importance and fragility of our ice caps. Indeed, spend some time in the quiet gallery and you get to hear this creature creak, with a very real sensation that, like a melting ice form, it might fall to the ground at any time.”
What Lies Beneath is the result of hours and hours of research into what the artist believes Antarctica is like (though she’s never been there). Currently, one form of this ever-changing, site-specific sculpture is on view at the House of Walwera in Auckland until September 8th.