Cave Urban was invited to exhibit in the 20th Anniversary of Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2016. The Golden Hour was created on-site with 600 poles of locally harvested bamboo and the help of volunteers. Balanced at the edge of the headland the 4m diameter sphere lines up with the horizon to celebrate sunrise and sunset.
The Paperbark Treehouse was commisioned by the Australian National Botanic Gardens. It was created to allow visitors of all ages to experience a copse of Melaleuca trees within the gardens.
Fire was an important generator for the design of the Paperbark Treehouse, just as it is a source of regeneration in the Australian landscape. The myriad of thin layers of bark visible on these trees not only protect the living tree trunks against the ravages of bushfires, but also harbour epicormic buds that sprout after the trunks have been scorched.
The Treehouse’s tree trunks and timbers have been charred, providing a natural weather shield and giving extra protection against fire by resisting ignition. The deep black of the carbonised structure creates a backdrop to highlight the surrounding Melaleuca grove.
Three levels in the Treehouse relate to the trees themselves as roots (understorey), trunk (main platform) and canopy (crow’s nest). The crow’s nest is a ship of the air to float through the trees.
Most of the Treehouse’s building materials came from recycled sources. The natural tree trunks were salvaged within the Gardens themselves, and the turpentine joists and decking were milled from old wharf piers. The Australian rosewood handrail and ladder rungs are from century-old Central Queensland fence posts, acquired from the film set of Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia”.
The cladding weatherboards were cut longitudinally from Victorian Silvertop ash logs as radially-sawn wedges, a highly-sustainable type of milling. Their shapes reference the paperbark trees’ natural edged layers.
Chilean sculptor Carolina Pinto created the organic steelwork that grows on and around the trunks of the tree columns and will facilitate native vines to grow slowly through the structure and anchor it to the forest floor.
The Hot House was commisioned by The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) for the 2015 Dark Mofo Winterfeast.
Constructed over a period of three weeks in Hobarts historical Salamanca Place, the structure hosted both Dark Mofo’s Winterfeast, and the Clemenger 72 Hour Think Tank.
Working in collaboration with the University of Tasmania's School of Architecture & Design, The Hot House was an oportunity to involve students in the process of designing and constructing large scale temporary architecture.
Built from over 3000 pieces of bamboo, The Hot House formed a 40m long water proof canopy, inspired by the expereince of being within a forest. Bundled bamboo beams created clear spans of 10-13m and provided a flexibility for how the space could be used.
Bower is a smudge on the horizon, a hatch traced in the air with charcoal. Inside, an intimate place to observe and be embedded in the natural landscape of Barangaroo. The feminine qualities of the nest acknowledge Bennelong’s wife (the name sake of the cove).
Using giant grass, the artwork creates a temporary cave for observation and reflection; an opportunity to inhabit the view. It invites the passer-by to climb in and settle. The contrast between the charred outside and the fresh inside tie with a primordial landscape. It recalls a time before the fire, the same way the burnt log recalls a tree. The untouched interior is a place of comfort, a seed pod.
Regenesis was commissioned for the 2017 ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE Festival in Melbourne. It was exhibited for one month in Acland St Plaza, St Kilda.
Acquired by the City of Port Phillip, the work was relocated to the Gasworks Arts Park in Melbourne for permanent exhibition. The work evokes a cocoon or chrysalis that has opened. Visitors can climb inside the sculpture and inhabit the space.
Near Kin Kin draws its name, inspiration, and organic materials from a humble hillside farm outside of Kin Kin, Queensland – where prodigious stands of bamboo invoke awe in anyone who stands beneath them.
Near Kin Kin brings a sense of that wonder to a soaring 22-metre sculpture, standing on the forecourt of historic Customs House Square. Viewed from the outside, the sculpture gives pause to reflect on the forests that stood here for millennia, in contrast with the rise and domination of the built environment that began in Sydney Cove with the first felling of trees in 1788.
Venturing inside Near Kin Kin, visitors are transported to a wilder place and time as they step onto a leafy forest floor and gaze upward to the soaring bamboo.
Near Kin Kin is a powerful moment to reflect on the many layers of Sydney Cove’s history, both visible and invisible.
Save Our Souls (SOS) is a 12 metre tall bamboo lighthouse sculpture that has been erected on the headland in Marks Park for October's Sculpture by the Sea exhibition.
The image of a blinded lighthouse with its housing sheared off yet still tenuously blinking alludes to a warning not simply of the perils awaiting those seeking safe harbour but of ignominy for those who seek to deny them.
It is a reflection upon the plight of those who come to our country seeking shelter from oppression, that we so callously send away. Something that is all the more relevant as our government attempts to increase the fear and tension between the different communities that make Australia such a fantastic, diverse country.
Woven Sky was an installation for the 2013-14 Woodford Folk Festival designed by Taiwanese Artist Wang Wen-Chih in collaboration with Cave Urban.
The work is constructed from 600 poles of bamboo and 70 radiata pine logs, all harvested within a 20km radius of the site. It rises to 15m high and is 100m long.
Taking 40 workers and volunteers 3 weeks to build, Woven Sky served as an entrance point to the Amphitheatre stage of the Woodford Folk Festival.
Taiwanese Artist, Master Wang Wen-Chih collaborated with Cave Urban to run a masterclass for the 2016 Planting Festival. 'Quandong Dream' was created as a treehouse nestled in the junction of a mature Quangdong tree. Visitors could climb up through the canopy of the forest and into the woven nest.
Taiwanese artist Wang Wen-Chih returned to Woodford one year after the creation of the beautiful Woven Sky to build his next creation Woven Cloud in collaboration with Cave Urban.
Like Summer’s thunderheads that build-up in the southwest and sweep across Woodfordia to relieve a sweltering day, Woven Cloud builds the expectations of festival goers approaching the Welcome Gate. Inside, where the soaring cloud’s silhouette creeps over the cool cross-hatched shade, is a space of calm before the storm of revelry, a place for reflection and dreaming.
Woven Cloud was built in just over three weeks with the help of 40 volunteers and Wen-Chih's team of nine from Chiayi County, Taiwan. Constructed from 800 locally harvested bamboo poles and 600 invasive pine trees whose removal from Woodfordia's own forest will make way for native bush regeneration.
"Mengenang" (Memory), is a wind driven sound installation made with bamboo, feathers, macadamia nuts and felt. The bamboo resonators are tuned to a D minor to create a commemorative sound forest.
The original installation of Mengenang (Memory) was created to commemorate the Bali bombings that occurred in 2002 and 2005. The 222 victims were represented by 222 bamboo resonators, tuned to D minor to create a sound forest on the headland.