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Sensory Escape from an Urban Jungle


Posted 5 January 2001

A tranquil oasis has been created amid the bustle of Brisbane's Central Business District, with the help of stainless.

'a tree a rock a cloud', by Brisbane-based artist Barbara Heath, blends symbols of the innovation and achievement of business with images from the area's original landscape.

The five metre long, three and a half metre wide and tall sculpture, located outside Central Plaza Two, features 21 stainless steel 'fins' and a gold titanium-clad stainless steel cloud, all mounted on a stainless steel base plate. The base plate is hidden from view by stones in a pool of water.

The resulting sculpture provides a quiet corner for contemplation away from the noise of the busy inner city.

Ms Heath said she chose stainless steel because of its qualities in capturing the light and movement of the surrounding environment.

"The stainless strudure permits light and casts shadows. It has a shimmering quality that responds to movement and changes in the prevailing light," she said.

Stainless steel was also chosen for its physical qualities.

"I really like the precise engineering that can be achieved with stainless steel," Ms Heath said.

"The light feeling evoked by the appearance of the material makes something very heavy look evanescent."

The fins were constructed from grade 316 stainless steel flat bar, polished to a No.4 finish.

The cloud was fabricated from 5mm grade 316 stainless steel sheet, rolled top and bottom laser cut, joined and welded. Stainless steel pins were inserted in a series of holes throughout the cloud to give it structure and connect the two cloud pieces.

The gold titanium cladding, featuring a patterned sheet finish, was fitted to the top and underside of the cloud with double sided tape.

The base plate was constructed from 10mm grade 316 stainless steel sheet, which was profile cut using plasma technology.

All pieces for the five and a half tonne sculpture were fabricated by ASSDA member G&B Stainless Pty Ltd in their Brisbane workshop and installed on site with the aid of a crane.

Stainless steel flat bar and sheet for the sculpture was supplied by ASSDA member Atlas Steels (Australia) Pty Ltd and Sandvik Australia Pty Ltd.

Ms Heath acknowledged the assistance given by the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association during the project's 18 month duration.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 17, January 2001.

Lissel Pilcher