Microcosm is a large scale public artwork from the Goldberg Aberline Studio.
The Goldberg Aberline Studio are know for their fun large public artworks. They’ve created works for the City of Sydney, Canberra’s Enlighten Festival, the Pilbara’s Karijini Experience and Sculpture by the Sea. Maurice Goldberg was originally an architect, while Matthew Aberline has a background in textiles for film and live events. Together they make large scale objects from fabric!
“We try to use colour and scale in a way that is really fun and playful. There’s a a lot of focus on the negative these days, so we try to imbue our work with a sense of awe and wonder to inspire people in a positive way.”
Microcosm is a deliberately positive work. At first it seems like a very colourful coral reef, a microcosm that has been expanded to massive proportions. But the work asks the viewer to think about their own “small world”, and how their good actions can have a positive influence.
“In the 80s someone thought it would be an easy way to catch fish if they threw dynamite into the reefs surrounding the Gili islands off the coast of Indonesia. As we were diving, the current took us through this area, drifting through hundreds of metres of decimated reefs, the broken coral on the sea bed like bones. Then in the middle of all this destruction, we came across a tiny outcrop of new coral that had regenerated, no bigger than a basket ball, but full of colour and movement. Right in the middle of it were two tiny clown fish looking super proud about their new home. It was one of the most positive things I think I’ve ever seen. In a way, Microcosm is a portrait of that little world…”
Microcosm was recently shown at Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, where it was installed onto one of the Surf Life Saver Buildings on Tamarama Beach.
“Our process is completely hands on – it all starts with paint on paper as we start creating our fabric prints. We wanted this work to look like a reef from a distance, but when viewed up close, you’d realise it was a crazy bunch of very energetic naive scribbles. Then we move to manufacturing where we start creating our shapes in our workshop with our team. We use special fabrics that are really light but super strong. There’s a lot of engineering that goes into a work like this, for example, we engineer into the work a webbing system that weaves through the inflatable with a breaking load of over two tonne! When we finally have a work that can be inflated, the whole team get onto ladders and we take sculpting the work in a more intensive way.”
Catch “Microcosm” at Various Pop up locations around Port Douglas.
Wednesday Peppers Beach Club
Thursday Rex Smeal Park
Friday Macrossan Street Parade
Saturday Family Beach Day 4 mile beach
Sunday Seafood Extravaganza Crystalbrook Marina