Vortex

1995

Sydney, Centennial Park

The title Vortex is descriptive as viewers are confronted with a visual anomaly: a staircase that spirals into its own mathematically measured vanishing point. It is as if Vortex were a result of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty being heaved onto land, given domestic scale, a sail and tighter geometry. The visual drama of Vortex occurs, significantly, within open parkland, which sets up a palpable tension: the expansive surrounds of the park are dramatically focused into an infinite progression, suggested by the spiralling staircase.

The viewer is given cues as to the usability and also the dysfunction of this sculptural form. The staircase actually commences its spiral as a functional, architectural standard which is then subtracted until the spiral quickly closes in on itself, quickly becoming impossible to physically step down. Through the extrapolation of imagination we are able to continue our spiral decent, from the first practical steps and ideal landscape then quickly into to a subterranean introverse. 

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