New sculptures a nod to COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing

A series of sculptures inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and our need to social distance has gone on display in the grounds of Hazelhurst Arts Centre at Gymea.

Hazelhurst Arts Centre curator Carrie Kibbler invited Catriona Stanton to submit a proposal for an outdoor installation after she completed Hazelhurst's artist in residence program this year.

The result is Sentinels, a series of nine structures of up to three metres in height, made from bamboo.

Stanton, who trained in traditional methods of sculpture under Tom Bass in Sydney before extending her practice into performance, video and site specific installations, said the vertical orientation of the "human-scale forms" and their spacing 1.5 metres apart was a nod to social distancing, and "alludes to the experience of being together yet apart during the world crisis of COVID-19".

"These skeletal sentinels have a lightness of being. They express our vulnerability of dealing with something so unseen, while being resilient and adaptable," she said.

The works also reference the construction of natural architectural forms or makeshift habitats following fire and flood, while the organic woven sculptures point to a sustainable future through working with the ubiquitous, resilient and flexible material of bamboo.

Ms Kibbler said that with numbers inside the arts centre and gallery "limited due to social distancing", this presented an opportunity "to take artworks outdoors".

"Sentinels encourages visitors to engage with the stunning and sprawling grounds at Hazelhurst, particularly as the gardens flourish during the warming months of spring," she said.

"Visitors are invited to walk through the installation or quietly sit and contemplate the work."

Sentinels is located in Hazelhurst's gardens, adjacent to the original Hazelhurst cottage, and will be on display until November 30.

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