Planet — Experimenta

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Laura Woodward

Dja Dja Wurrung Country
Castlemaine, VIC, Australia


Planet focuses on the interplay between the building blocks of life – water, air, and light – creating an ephemeral yet perceivable coalescence of these elements. The work consists of three illuminated water-filled spheres each supported by a tripod at varying heights. The water acts as a lens, a light-focusing tool, a means of shifting perception and understanding,  and is activated by bubbles that disturb its surface and generate visual manifestations of cause and effect. At its most basic, Planet is a semi-spherical body of water in which we can visually understand the interplay between light, curvature and refraction.

Planet muses on the scale and complexity of life forms and cycles. As Woodward explains, the sphere is representational of “the fundamental form that emerges when equal pressure is applied – as happens with surface tension when small water droplets fall through space, or, at a vastly different scale, with the effect of gravity on planets. The sphere is the planet on which we stand, the moon that we see, the sun that gives us light and warmth. Equally, water – transparent, almost tasteless, and barely considered as we drink or bathe – is the fundamental life-blood of our world”.

Equally Planet, constructed from stainless steel, clean white engineering plastics, hoses and  transparent acrylic could be an experimental life-support machine; an incubating system in which some new biological thing is coming into being.

Planet is an implied and material system; an artwork that speaks to multiple possibilities of differing scales, and to layered levels of systemic complexity born out of a minimal range of elements – water, air, and light.

The Artist
Laura Woodward

Over many years Laura Woodward has exhibited sculptural, kinetic installations which regularly embody looped systems.