Congwong

Year
2010s
Status
Built
Scale
Small

a sculpture / installation by
Katherine Norman and Thierry Lacoste

More than 10,000 plastic pieces were gathered from a small beach over a period of 6 months.
The location of this beach, Congwong, at the entrance to Botany Bay, where Europeans first claimed the land, is symbolic. It marks the beginning of a disconnection from the land and its inhabitants.
The work presents itself like a jewel from a distance but on closer inspection displays the enormous array of plastic found on this seemingly pristine beach. It is a sad modern re-enactment of the seafood gathering of the Bidgigal tribe, the traditional custodians of the area.

The piece is powerful without any explanation. The fragile nature of the assemblage juxtaposed with the unpleasant reality of waste plastic is beguiling. It intrigues all age groups and relates to all viewers. The fragments are instantly identifiable as utensils of our daily life. The work brings the mistreatment of the planet to a personal level and demonstrates our individual responsibilities in a very accessible manner.

The sculpture has been exhibited at the Bondi Pavilion Art Gallery in November 2014 as part of a Sculpture by the Sea fringe event and in Central Park Sydney in the Waterways exhibition in March 2015.

Technical description:
‘Congwong’ is an sculpture made of more than 10,000 pieces of plastic collected on one beach over a period of 6 months. The plastic pieces have been washed and glue with transparent silicone on acrylic light boxes.
There are 12 light boxes of different dimensions.
The overall size is 2400l x 3000h x 100d mm but the light boxes can be mounted and exhibited in different format, vertical or horizontal (see layout diagrams).