WADE

WADE    

An exhibition of Graham Bennett’s sculptures, calling attention to the growing crisis for our water, our environment, our future

 
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In association with Social Enterprise World Forum Christchurch 2017 and proudly hosted by the Christchurch Free Theatre

WADE is an interdisciplinary project that invites you to consider your stance and the stance of society on one of the most serious social issues of our time, water and the environment

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Water, not so long ago was simply swimmable and drinkable. Worryingly it is now frequently and frighteningly described as wadeable. Joining with many official reports, scientific studies, and journalistic investigations WADE offers a sculptural view on the careless use of our water resources.

WADE raises urgent questions by responding to Hieronymus Bosch’s 500 year-old painting Garden of Earthly Delights. Drawing on the circular pond in Bosch’s painting, Wade addresses 21st century issues about water in a series of sculptural works based on twelve human figures standing in a pond and five wading birds standing on their heads.

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WADE, the principal work of the exhibition, was originally
conceived in Madrid in 2012, in response to Hieronymus
Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, and to a growing sense
of anger about New Zealand’s waterways being among the
most polluted in the OECD.

The work comprises twelve lifesize photographs on
aluminium laminate of women standing in a pond, the
surface of which appears as an elliptical polished form. On
the heads of five of the women stand bitterns (matuku), a
wading bird that inhabits the shoreline of Te Waihora/Lake
Ellesmere, one of the country’s most polluted bodies of
water. The wall mounted sculpture expresses a sense of
tenuous space, of hovering, of a foreboding and unstable
environment. Together with associated works WADE was
three years in the making. The dimensions of WADE are
H 2400 x 2400 x 1200mm.

Works in the WADE exhibition were produced employing
both familiar techniques (laser cutting, digitally printing
photo imagery on metal) and state-of-the-art colour 3D
printing technologies.

Be It On Our Heads uses real people, lifelike images, and
figures to bring issues of water and the environment into
focus. Production involved a unique piece of digital
technology to capture a full-body 3D scan. A 150 multicamera
system, based on photogrammetric principles, allowed
highly detailed digital captures of human-sized objects from
300 source images.

From this data 360-degree previews of the models were
generated for review. A full-colour 3D printer converted the
complex geometrical model into small lifelike sandstone
replica figures in the sculpture.

The WADE exhibition also includes works from the Signals
series. This series expresses a feeling of faltering and failing
signals, and it offers further observations on, and questions
about, our current environmental anxieties and predicament.
These uncertain signals underscore a sense of directional
loss, of incoherent and conflicting agendas, as well as
pointing to the need for urgent action.