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Darklab Announces New Large-Scale Permanent Artwork For Huon Valley

August 20, 2020 Visit STH Pacific & Oceania No Comments Email Email

DarkLab today announced a major new permanent artwork as part of Project X, to be positioned at Ida Bay, in southern Tasmania, Australia.

Transformer, a new site-specific commission by American artist Doug Aitken, is a pavilion with a reflective interior, creating a lens consisting of angles and facets, a kaleidoscope that interacts with the landscape over the changing seasons.

Focusing on the sky and the surrounding landscape, the pavilion’s exterior physicality falls away once entered, reflecting the surrounding environment and drawing the viewer into a never-ending kaleidoscope of light and reflection.

DarkLab Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said: “We are delighted that we are finally able to release details of plans for Project X in the Huon Valley. We are fortunate that artist Doug Aitken accepted an invitation to visit Tasmania late last year and designed the new work after identifying a site at Ida Bay.

“While Transformer will attract people to the Huon Valley, it also uses the landscape of the area as its focal point, highlighting the natural beauty of southern Tasmania. The work will change throughout the year reflecting the various colours and moods of the seasons.

“It’s been an extremely challenging project thus far, but we are confident that this installation has the potential to bring long lasting benefits to the region.

“We are working closely with the Ida Bay Railway Preservation Society to ensure the heritage on the site is maintained and that our plans do not impede their future vision.

“Our aim is to lodge a development application with the Huon Valley Council later this year, and pending approvals we plan to open in December 2021,” Carmichael said.

Huon Valley Council Mayor Bec Enders said: “Transformer will be a game-changer for the tourism industry in the Huon Valley and southern Tasmania. After the loss of tourism in our region for two seasons, we welcome with open arms Doug Aitken, DarkLab and Mona to the Huon Valley.

“We know that one-of-a-kind ‘hero’ tourism experiences not only encourage visitors to stay longer but more businesses invest, and that is a good thing for employment and the creative industry in our unique beautiful part of the world. Of course, this would not be possible without significant funding from the Federal and State Government. We thank them,” Mayor Enders said.

Artist Doug Aitken said: “Transformer presents an innovative crossover of contemporary art, architecture and ecology. Situated at the end of the road in the Huon Valley, the sculpture will function both as a spectacular destination, and a starting point for the visitor to discover the natural landscape of the region.

“Visitors journey to the Huon Valley to see the artwork and then further their exploration of the natural beauty of the surrounding region. Each and every moment of the sculpture will change continuously with the surrounding light and weather conditions, attracting repeat visits to the region,” Aitken said.

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