Heavy Launch considers the cost of human space travel and the dangers of colonial fantasy at the expense of the earth and all its mysterious beauty. A rocket, fallen back to earth, decomposes into the soil and vegetation while Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia Apama) congregate, their gestures a reverberation through deep time.
Contact & Witness is screening online on the 11th and 12th of September.
“To best experience this artwork, click on this link, turn off the lights, turn up the sound, sit back and enjoy the looping sequence. Below is a shortened version of text by one of my favourite artists, John Wolseley. His story is so lovely and I’m very pleased to be able to share it with you. The full version can be accessed via the video link.”
Below is a shortened version of text from John Wolseley about the artwork.
“Sometime late in 2019, I was walking down Acland Street and wandered into Linden Gallery. I went into a darkened room and found my vision taken over by a huge screen filled with a quivering pulsating image of ‘what on earth is that’? I could differentiate between one or two rippling forms and equally quivery surrounding fields of what turned out to be feathery seaweed. Then, my eye met with another eye. It was a cuttlefish in a glorious, mesmerising video which I watched probably five times over before I could tear myself away. Sometime later I met the artist and she explained to me that the luminous pattern mosaics on the body of these cuttlefish go through successive colour shifts as a result of physiological changes. Sometimes for camouflage or disguise, they appear to merge with sand and rock. These ones were engaging in a big love festival and it was for reasons of courtship and display that they were wildly coloured and patterned. As I watched I thought about how it was that there seemed a marvellous kind of affinity or synergy between the eye of the viewer, the surface of the screen and the energy field of the cuttlefish. It was wonderful, moving, revelatory and as I walked along the St Kilda pier, I felt as if I had left my human self behind and merged into cuttlefishness.”
-John Wolseley, 2021