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Lagoon, Wagga Wagga

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Date: June 2021

Location: Wagga Wagga

Collaborator: Owen Lyons

Lagoon is a new site-specific installation artwork by public artists Goldberg Aberline Studio (GAS) and Wagga Wagga local, Wiradjuri artist Owen Lyons.

This work celebrates the importance of the green lagoon environment in Wagga Wagga, set within Australia’s vast dry landscape. We see this as an expansion of our Red Air Pilbara and Tasmanian Collaboration that explores the spirit of Australia from the perspective of First Nations artists.

The idea is elegant and simple: patterned reed-like forms, made from 25 fabric inflatables, float up to 2.5 meters high in the lagoon, and gently sway as they catch the wind. Wiradjuri artist Owen Lyons’ artwork forms the key visual printed art fabric surface of these forms as they emerge from the water. GAS have contributed additional surface paintings that speak to the spirit of the lagoon from a white man's perspective, harmoniously intertwined with Owen’s distinct Wiriadi painting techniques.

GAS are one of the few studios in Australia with the technology that can create “closed cell pneumatic” inflatables, which only need to be inflated once - rather than continually being pumped by air movers. The work glows at night with an embedded solar powered lighting system - built within the work, so the work requires an extremely small infrastructure footprint. The best part is - most of the printed materials used in Lagoon are from an exciting new textile made completely from recycled PET drinking bottles.

By day, the reeds populate the lake with their vivid patterns - creating an exciting intervention into the natural landscape. By night the work takes on a more ethereal feel as the reeds are illuminated and glow like floating lanterns. The work has great appeal in both the day time, and night time.

“Through this collaboration we hope to bring the skills and experience we have learned, in Australia and overseas, to build a strong public art experience in Wagga Wagga. We will learn from Owen Lyons (and from the Wiradjuri Elders) and we hope that this transference of skills causes professional growth and development for Wagga Wagga and for GAS.” - Goldberg Aberline Studio

Lagoon celebrates the culture and heritage of the traditional custodians of Wagga Wagga land. It explores unique cultural stories and the spirit of Wagga Wagga through the paintings and sculptural forms of the work.

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