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' Reflective Regeneration '- Public Sculpture



Our Inspiration for this artwork  was derived from the ethos and activities of the Gallery itself: particularly through the Selfie exhibition of Oct 2015  that was:

 ” a concept of self as expressed by the whole community”.

The success of this exhibition provided an impetus to continue this process in a specially conceived way that would be ongoing into the future and become a vital part of the identity of the Collie Art Gallery, itself.


The sculpture is also inspired by the dynamic community of Collie, especially the growth in recent years of a vibrant community spirit which it also symbolises, through the inference of growth in the undulating forms of the sculpture.


The sculpture  especially celebrates the  involvement of the community in the redevelopment of Collie and particularly the  surrounding environment, including the regeneration of the land after devastation by fire, which is encapsulated in the title: “Reflective Regeneration”


The sculpture also endeavours to symbolise the Shire of Collie- in its physical and geological basis- which sits upon a vast reservoir of ancient, trapped Photons, the stored energy of which was converted through plant photo-synthesis over hundreds of millions of years, into a repository of plant biomass which ultimately became the vast coal deposit being exploited today. Essentially: the “life Blood’ of the Collie Community.  


Theme and Concept Statement:


We approach the theme of this artwork project, as artists rather than scientists, although the interaction between the two,  is really a definition of our modern world whereby we tend to separate the exploration of ‘life’, into compartments. The term ‘Natural Philosophy’ as used in former times, is much more descriptive of our approach. Our concept explanation is therefore more philosophical in intention than technical- even though it may not appear so at first sight.


This artwork is therefore, an exploration in space, time and form, of what lies behind the physical experience of ‘seeing’..our mental reactions to visual impressions…and a ‘feed-back loop’ of captured images generated by the articulated polished surfaces of the sculpture.  We see this as an exciting beginning to a process at the Collie Art Gallery and Cultural Centre that will stimulate the imagination of young and old to create exciting new artworks and participate in the activities which the Gallery plans.



The theme of our sculpture explores the mysterious properties of how ‘light’ interacts with reflective objects and how the ‘observer’ becomes an integral part of this process.

Thus, the aesthetic visual properties of our artwork becomes encoded in the electrodynamic properties of ‘photons’ of light, as they absorb visual information and process this through the highly reflective surfaces of the sculpture.


Within this interactive process is a phenomenon known as ‘entanglement’. Essentially, this describes the transfer of information – in this case, reflected images of the ‘passing crowd’, instantaneously between photons of light which have been ‘entangled’ in the surface of the artwork and re-emitted in different directions. Some of these photons will be absorbed by other objects in the environment but others will continue up through the atmosphere into outer space and travel to eternity.


These photons will carry the visual information gathered in the surface of the artwork, for (potentially), infinity. However astonishingly, these same photons will be in instantaneous contact with other members of that particular group of photons that ‘shared’ the same experience within the reflective surface of the sculpture at a particular moment in time, before being launched back out into the Universe, as described.


This is actually how we perceive, explore and interact with the world around us, on a moment by moment basis. The average person never has to think about exactly what is really happening when they gaze into a mirror.

A proportion of information gathering photons, will enter our eyes and trigger neurons to fire in our Cornea which produces images, transferred from the photons, resulting in us being able to ‘see’.


Consequently, what we ‘see,’ triggers a cascade of complex responses within our minds, ranging across an entire spectrum of colour and emotional reflexes. This is how we function, within the invisible torrent of electromagnetic energy driving our entire physical and mental existence. Evolution has allowed us to ‘harvest’ what we need from this vast resource and process it to our own ends. We therefore actually create the moment –to- moment world we experience as, ‘reality’.


The physical ‘form’ pf the sculpture, as an aesthetic interpretation of the basic underlying concept of a ‘reflective interaction’ with observers, is based upon forms and shapes inspired by the eternal processes of ‘growth’ and regeneration, which we experience all around us. Accordingly, the observers are an essential and integral part of the artwork, as described.


We further extend the concept through the installation of a small video camera, focused on the sculpture that constantly records the faceted images reflected within the juxtaposed surfaces of the artwork and displays this stream on a large flat screen within the Gallery itself. This could be done in ‘real time’, or on a delay circuit.


As an added feature, it is important to point out that any attempt to interfere with or vandalize the sculpture will be recorded. It would be essential that the Shire publicise this extensively.


We would also suggest that the visual recordings from the sculpture be archived, in their entirety, within the Gallery in perpetuity. This would form a unique historical record now made possible by the extraordinary advances in electronic information storage. Again, this very technical process is only another manifestation of the essential underlying theme of the artwork demonstrating how information can never be destroyed once gathered.


Charles Smith & Joan Walsh-Smith
Gidgegannup 2015



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