steel, painted finish
1200 cm x 500 cm x 400 cms
"Efflorescence. the state or a period of flowering. 2. an example or result of growth and development: These works are the efflorescence of her genius. 3. Chemistry. a. the act or process of efflorescing. the resulting powdery substance or incrustation."
"Proposition 5: Construction should be decorated. Decoration should never be purposely constructed.
Proposition 11In surface decoration all lines should flow out of a parent stem. Every ornament, however distant, should be traced to its branch and root."
Owen Jones, The Grammar of Ornament, London 1868
Efflorescence replaces three architect-designed fins on the facade of M on Mary with vegetal sculptural forms. They make an emphatic axial statement. Aligned to the verticality of the building they draw the eye upward away from the clutter of the city street.
These three fins are neither fully sculptural nor entirely graphical, they occupy an in between dimension that I call 2.5D. They refer to my interest in the rich eclecticism of nineteenth century architectural ornament, which freely pillaged historical and ethnographic styles. They appear to emanate or float out of the architectonic structure of the building.
This sculpture re-poses a question about the historical relationship of sculpture to architecture. It bypasses the 'plaza turd' phase of the mid-late twentieth century public sculpture and re-examines an integrative notion of the gothic through the lens of 19th century aesthetics as practiced by Viollet le-Duc, Owen Jones and others.
Artist influences are the swirling psychedelic forms of Kenny Scharf's 1960's painting and the truncated calligraphy of Shirazeh Houshiary's sculpture from the early 1980's
Efflorescence also has biological references; its relationship to the tower could be said to be analogous to that of an epiphyte to its host - an epiphyte is a rainforest plant that lives symbiotically or parasitically on a host tree, for example a bromeliad and a Moreton Bay Fig.
Other references include South Pacific wood carving and tattooing as well as Chinese and Thai ornamental aesthetics.
©Simeon Nelson 2007 All Rights Reserved