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Stuart Green Sculpture


Woden's sculpture an alluring piece by night

One of Stuart Green's hopes for his enormous (but somehow dainty), gleaming sculpture, Droplet, officially ''launched'' last night at its Woden site, is that some people will find it ''wondrous'' to look at. This columnist, on the phone to Green in his Perth workshop, was able to tell him that Droplet had got off to a promising start in my case. It had filled me with wonder when I'd been to see it that morning.

What a test Droplet will be, in its loveliness, for the philistines who usually gnash their teeth about this city's public art. As well as being divine to look at the angle at which the droplet (like a raindrop) is set suggests, excitingly, a gigantic raindrop that has hurtled in at an angle (the way wind-driven raindrops do) and is about to smash into watery smithereens on a Woden pavement. In the imaginative onlooker this creates a great deal of suspense, like those paintings of enormous waves about to break.

Not that, Green insists, Droplet is necessarily meant to be a gigantic raindrop hurtling in at a wind-driven angle, etc. He refuses to prescribe what it is, doesn't have didactic ideas about it himself, and loves the idea that it will suggest all sorts of things to all sorts of folk. ''When I'm installing a work and people come up and ask me, 'What is it', I say, 'I should be asking you what it is. What does it remind you of?You're the guys that have got to live with it so your interpretation is absolutely valid'.''

But who are the guys that are going to have to live with Droplet? Its placing in a brand new arrondissement at Woden not far from the Plaza and juxtaposed with swish contemporary office blocks (themselves like great big plateglass sculptures) made the setting seem, on this columnist's Sunday visit, deserted and anonymous. Isn't this, I asked Green, public art lurking in a not very public place? Green admits that he'd had reservations about the chosen spot and had imagined Droplet (by the way especially commissioned for Canberra) being somewhere else but had since warmed to the site. ''It works better than I thought.'' He points out that there are thousands of public servants in the buildings that loom beside Droplet and that they will mill and teem around the sculpture. What's more, he's sure that in the sculpture's long, long lifetime (though delicate-looking it's made from what he says is especially tough ''marine-grade stainless steel'' and so ''it'll probably last longer than the building next to it'') the presently rather sterile place will ''change into a thriving hub''.

In unpretentious ways he's enthusiastic about Droplet (''I very much enjoyed making it and I really hope that people will enjoy it'') and loves talking about the making of it. That at one stage involved him getting a view of it no one else can ever have. He went inside. It's a shame we can't do that because when you get up close to Droplet and as its finer details emerge, you see that there are patterned piercings of the droplet's steel flanks and that they let into the sculpture those sorts of patterns of light that fall into some churches and mosques through patterned masonry and windows.

Wondrous by day (it gleams so beautifully because the stainless steel flanks are ''electro polished'' by a sophisticated process that brings up a sheen no butler was ever able to bring to his employer's silver), Droplet promises to be alluring by night too.

Nearby public servants may struggle to drag themselves away from it to go home.

It is lit from within and spirals through a sequence in which Green promises it is ''pinkish'' for five minutes and then ''pale blue'' for another five minutes before moving on to other wondrous hues.

Spatial Thoughts on Sculpture by Bill West
What's not to like! I believe Stuart Green nailed it with this piece - it's just plain what you want it to be, so non-offensive. Yes, sometimes public art can be offensive by it's design and/or message and believe me that's OK as well! "Droplet" is just damn nice to look at and experience!
Don't know who wrote this article, but it's a fun read!

Stuart Green Sculpture
"Droplet" by Stuart Green on the corner of Furzer and Worgan St Phillip.
Photo: Rohan Thomson