Victor Harbor based artist Margaret Worth has successfully created a stunning art installation for display at Government House.
Country Arts SA actively supports regional South Australian artists to undertake unique opportunities across the country to create ambitious artworks. The Government House Residency is one such project, and offered Margaret the opportunity to undertake a research residency before creating a sculpture to be displayed in the grounds of Government House.
Margaret approached her time in residence with gusto, getting to know the people, spending time in the grounds and researching the history and significance of the office. She said the residency period of the project was a hugely rewarding experience.
"The week at the beginning of the project for concept development and one week at the end for installation was unforgettable," said Margaret.
"It was living in a park in the middle of the city and meeting people with the most surprising pathways to their present. And it was seeing, at first hand, the range of acknowledgements across the breadth of society in a non-stop schedule.
"There followed months of concept development, digital drawings, engineering approval and finally, the costing, which almost brought the protect to a stand-still. It was saved by connecting with brilliant local fabricators, willing to stretch their abilities into new territory."
Her completed work, titled As One, was formed as a response to Margaret's experiences at Government House and aims to capture the spirit of the House and its people.
Margaret closely examined the role of Governor when conceptually designing her piece.
"The artwork focusses on the contemporary role of a Governor in Australia," she said.
"The role is to stand for society, reflecting its collective sense of dignity, stability and shared wisdom. It functions to publicly acknowledge who and what contributes to a better society and a better world.
"The role is independent of politics, commerce, and religion, but encompasses all of these. The role today incorporates the diversity of society, including the first peoples and subsequent waves of migration."
Margaret's crafted figure stands upon a platform to represent the heightened status given to the Governor.
"It is standing in conscious balance, the right hand holds the symbol of office and the left hand holds a symbol of diverse peoples together," said Margaret.
"The choices of form, materials and structure each support the concept of the work. The structure creates form out of different shapes that are slotted together.
"They create a self-supporting strength which can be seen to refer to multiple community and cultural groups, deriving strength and cohesion from co-existence and co-operation."
As One came to life over a one-year period and was crafted from stainless steel with patina, dichroic foil, and corten steel.
As One is not only the title of Margaret's new, dynamic piece of work, but a description for the way in which this work and her accompanying residency came to be.
The opportunity was supported by a number of partners including Arts South Australia with support from SALA Festival.
"The process of realising As One has been a first, full of challenges for all the participants at each stage: concept, drawings, construction, finishing and installation," said Margaret.
"It has stretched us all: me as an artist, each of the fabricators, and the members of Government House.
"A work like As One requires the skills of many different people. Thank you to the team that helped realise the concept."
The grounds of Government House will be open to the public on Sunday August 18, where visitors can view As One up close.