Artist – Marion Borgelt
Art Curator – Soda Arts
Client – St Catherine’s School, Sydney
Architect & Design Advisor – Caroline Camino
Artist Representative – Gallery Sally Dan Cuthbert
Photographer – Dominika Ferenz
Videographer – Artvid
A spatial kinetic artwork transforms the entrance of St Catherine's College Research, Performing Arts & Aquatic Centre (RPAC) employing an experience of stars and night through motion and colours.
Renowned contemporary Australian artist, Marion Borgelt, approached Tilt with a brief which involved the design development and delivery of a significant kinetic sculptural concept commissioned for St Catherine’s College, Sydney’s new state–of–the–art RPAC integrated complex.
Marion’s concept titled ‘Ad Astra’ proposed a site-specific suspended installation, with a drifting kinetic motion obtained from the natural airflow within the building. Ad Astra comprises of two independent suspended elements adorned with intersecting families of brightly coloured kinetic discs which reflect the school’s values in an architecturally integrated form.
Tilt supported Marion through concept development, detailed design, fabrication management, installation, and commissioning.
Material selection and manufacturing processes were carefully considered to ensure gallery quality finishes and long-term reliable performance.
Ad Astra provides a symbolic and transformative expression activating the school’s main entrance, also visible via the main street.
The installation has been designed to offset at a diagonal. This is responsive to the architectural curve of the building’s roof allowing the kinetic forms to rotate above and below each other, working as a series.
The design is a real-space sense experience for the students and community, representing the school’s values and informing the evolving culture of the school.7
Bronze faceted solid discs
Utilising a range of technologies in design and manufacturing to facilitate the kinetic function of the sculpture was paramount to the overall success of the design.
- The integration of lubricant-free bearing technology in each of the disc sets permits the silent and smooth rotation of the sculpture under light wind events.
- To encourage smooth rotation each disc set was counterweighted to maintain a centre of gravity.
- To resist a pendulum effect each rod is provided ballast. The bottom of one of the rods is weighted with golden, hand-gilded faceted steel elements. These complex geometric forms weigh approximately 70kg each and were manufactured by machining solid steel in a 5 axis milling process.
Artist, Marion Borgelt’s intent was protected throughout the entire design and delivery process, the outcome providing an artwork installation of seamless quality and function, allowing the project to be artist-initiated the entire delivery span.
“AD ASTRA introduces two suspended forms whose interplay examines relationships and the way people and groups interact at the basic level of two – the minimum number of entities required for a relationship. These are the fundamental building blocks of a community,” Borgelt said.”
“Tilt provided creative and innovative solutions to many of the design issues that arose. Their expertise and pre-planning meant that the process from fabrication to installation was smooth sailing for any artist, this is terribly important” – Marion Borgelt
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