This suite of sculptures take their inspiration from shells collected on the beach. The sculptures themselves are deliberately abstracted and stylised, designed to capture a feeling. They invite individuals to reflect upon their experiences of collecting shells from the beach, one of Penguin’s most beloved natural assets. Community is all about sharing and we believe people of all ages will be able to relate to these works by connecting to the local landscape through memories and past experiences. This in turn will foster a sense of pride and place-making within the students, staff and wider public who use the space.
For us, the designs need to:
•be accessible to people of all ages
•stand out and capture the imagination in a playful and whimsical way
•be intriguing, visually engaging and offer a sense of discovery
•inspire conversation amongst the students, staff and visitors
•capture the sense and feeling of 'Community'.
•link and unify the school in a creative way
•be a celebration of life, community and education
In creating these sculptures for Penguin District School we identified some key points raised by the school and panel members at the initial briefing. We felt it was important the artwork captures the feeling of, 'community', encouraging students from both the Primary School and High School to engage with the work. We have drawn on our own experience of living in a small community and hope that our work nurtures a sense of belonging and pride within the public that extends beyond the students, staff and parents. The materials have been selected to withstand the harsh conditions of Tasmania as well as playground wear and tear. We have considered future-proofing the artwork by the use of durable materials, innovative fabrication techniques, cutting edge technologies, and developing a design aesthetic that draws inspiration from timeless objects found in nature and the surrounding landscape. Whilst the designs draw direct inspiration from the green maireener and blue-green maireener shells found on local beaches surrounding Penguin. The sculptures could also be viewed as an interpretation of the word, ‘Community’ in the sense that they are themselves, ‘gathering together’. This forms the visual dialogue – where each piece communicates with one another and by extension invites the building users and general public into a conversation whereby individuals can engage with the artwork through interpretation, reflection and imagination. We have identified The Cafeteria as the key gathering space where interaction between the younger and older students will be a regular occurrence. This area is also where the school meets the wider community, a perfect location for creating an iconic piece that represents and celebrates the unique community that calls Penguin home.