Desiring Machine

Project: Other

Project Details


a monumental sculpture commission for the Eastlink Motorway, Melbourne, Australia. Total project budget - £600,000

Layman's description

Desiring Machine was one of four significant permanent sculpture commissions by leading Australian artists including Callum Morton and James Angus for the innovative new Eastlink Motorway in Melbourne designed by leading architects Wood Marsh. The works were selected by a distinguished panel of Australian art and design experts including Dr Gerard Vaughn, the director of the National Gallery of Victoria. It had a production a budget of over one million dollars and an artist fee of 100,000.00 dollars. It has a daily audience of several tens of thousands of motorists.

It is 38 meters long and 9 meters high and wide, fabricated from galvanised steel. It looks like both a fallen tree and a piece of monumental machinery. It is characterised by a dense filigree Arts and Craft ornamentation and is a critique of Western attitudes to the natural world.

Innovative engineering and fabrication techniques were deployed to transpose the pattern into large scale 3D units which were bolted together on site. Supporting the 70 tonne weight of the structure while staying true to the artistic intent . I worked with leading landscape architects to ensure the site was landscaped so that the structure looked as if it was embedded in its context.

The originality was in the use of a a floral border from a 19th century pattern book that was adapted to form the base unit of the modular system of this sculpture which is composed of three repeated modular units generated from the 'original' pattern. Desiring Machine's recursive plant-like structure unfolds from a single stem five units long that branches into four stems, three units long which in turn branches into nine stems, two units long and finally branches into sixteen stems, each one unit long.
Effective start/end date1/07/061/09/08


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