Article by Alexandra-Elena Ciocan – Angles of Incidence, by Warren Langley and Julia Davis, in Victoria Cross, North Sydney, Australia. The 6-meter high, imposing and curious sculptural landmark created by famous artist-couple Warren Langley and Julia Davis in the Victoria Cross intersection, North Sydney, required tremendous thought and sentiment, as well as thorough artistic and engineering study. The Angles of Incidence project is part of the North Sydney Public Art Trail, consisting of this and 17 other pieces scattered in different locations all over Sydney, with the major purpose of providing visitors with a high-quality public art experience.Angles of Incidence shows that artists need to utilize much more than just materials or colours in order to conceive of something eye-catching and modern. They must also work with light, texture, and the surrounding landscape, in order to create a true landscape masterpiece.
Angles of Incidence
This project shows that artists need to utilize much more than just materials or colours in order to conceive of something eye-catching and modern. They must also work with light, texture, and the surrounding landscape, in order to create a true landscape masterpiece.
Pulsating with the Rhythm of the City
The glass artwork is definitely a statement piece that has a dynamic influence on the environment, but from our point of view, it is also well-integrated into its surroundings. By these means, it becomes a component and a living structure of the busy city. This glass-and-light canvas is ideal for painting all the images and capturing seconds and memories of the rapid flow of life.Being reactive to the urban environment, all the physical changes in the light level, time, scenery, and even human position engrave the surface without leaving any marks. The sculpture’s metamorphosis during the evening and night creates whimsical scenery, supported technically by a glowing blue LED light. Langley comments on the contrasting feel the sculpture has day-to-night: “Whether the viewer experience is pedestrian or vehicular, the artwork displays a completely different day time and night time persona.”
Narrating the Specificity of the Site
As much as this blue beacon has a silent personality it also makes a strong impression. The shape it resembles is truly site-specific, as the inspiration for the final form was no other than a small quartz grain from the underlying city layers. The anatomy of the artistic piece echoes the site’s past and its reflective surface provides insight into the present. According to what Davis says, “The dialogue between the sculpture and its surroundings is a metaphor for the ‘interactions’ that have happened on this site from its pre-colonial past to the commercial and entertainment precinct it is now.”Its style and location portray the historic architectural progress and constant development of the urban setting. The location was not randomly chosen but was actually thought to add to the visibility and bold effect of the project. The artists operated with the space in a way to bring popularity to their creation: the physical intersection of roads would double for a social gathering point, a high-traffic transitional area and even a tourist pin. While the urban space image underwent a striking transformation, the project was to benefit from its positioning.
Entertaining Despite its Static Nature
The very piece was born at the crossing of interactive safety glass planes, falling and rising at different angles, and while the notion of an interactive land sculpture might not be new in the field of environmental art, I assure you that this one is different. While other sculptures are interactive as a consequence of their movement mechanisms that are engaged by wind or water, this glass piece is distinct.The way in which this piece manages to actively communicate with its surroundings and admirers is by visual deviations, providing the unique chance to enjoy multiple perspectives from the same standing point. Even more, both the selected colour and the reflective quality of the materials used open and extend the space and act in various ways to support the concept the piece beholds. To explain, as the structure first impresses you with its architecture and height, viewing the blue color will also have a subtle impact on your train of thoughts. This rare, naturally-occurring pigment has a poetic significance that raises the social conscience: it is also evocative of landscape and nature. If you did not know yet, this shade is generally created by the structure of the object. In this very case, the colour which seems to be a trademark for the artist-couple’s works was obtained by using a modern digital glass technology. This provided the techniques to create the perfect shade and saturation, the result leading to Warren Langley being bestowed with the contemporary studio glass award – an Ausglass honorary life membership. It has been proven that blue acts well in creative problem solving, so we dare say that this interactive sculpture might mark in fact the perfect spot to make big decisions. Why? It has all it needs; indirect introspective feel? – check, attractive shape and colour to lose your thoughts into? – check, great angles on everything around you? – check. But leaving aside studies, we warmly recommend a visit to Sydney to see Angles of Incidence, to add to your personal experience portfolio. Do you think it is worth it?
Full Project Credits For Angles of Incidence:
Project Name: Angles of Incidence Artists: Warren Langley and Julia Davis Project manager: Trent Baker Armature Structural Engineers: Harry Partridge and Niki Akbari Commissioned: North Sydney Council Location: Victoria Cross, North Sydney, Australia Dimensions: 6m H x 2.4 x 2.2 Completed: 2016 Type: Light and Glass sculpture Title: Angles of Incidence Materials: Digitally coloured safety glass, stainless steel and LED lights Photo Credit: Richard Glover Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Baye
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network