30th April, 2012 - Leaf Fall
Installing a new commissioned sculpture is always a rewarding experience and this new work was no exception.
The clients, an Australian couple who spend some of each year at their property in Wanaka provided an open brief to respond to their site.
Their house nestles into the side of a hill in a rural setting overlooking Wanaka with a view up the Matukituki valley to the glaciers of Mt Aspiring and Avalanche Peak in the far distance
The land has been terraced with a series of dry stone retaining walls, the terraces falling steeply away to an olive grove.
Shielded by tall deciduous trees to the south and planted with many fruit trees and shrubs the landscape is a very leafy place.
Visiting the sculpture site in early autumn the leaves were already turning from their summer green hues to a diverse range of yellows oranges and burnt reds.
The surrounding tussock hills shone golden yellow after a prolonged dry summer.
The autumn colours in this southern region are a strong feature of this landscape and I decided to make a sculpture that celebrates this seasonal transformation as the trees go through the process of shedding their foliage for winter.
Wind blown autumn leaves have a strong symbolism that I wanted to capture. The way they catch the sunlight as they twirl reminds me of the endless cycle of life.
The sculpture is made from two rusted circular discs of corten steel each cut with the identical shapes of many falling leaves. Set slightly apart on hidden spacers, the holes from which the leaf shapes have been cut reveal either light or shadow depending on the angle of view. The sculpture is mounted on a rotating central spindle which enables it to be turned by hand or even a strong wind. As the sculpture turns the leaf shapes move and change.
Leaf Fall sculpture Video