Photo: Natasha Edwards
THE URCHINS IN AUSTRALIA
FABRICATION & INSTALLATION
2018 Commonwealth Games, Festival 2018
Gold Coast, Australia
Jin Choi and Thomas Shine
Theatre Safe Australia
Maclift Crane Services
Special Thanks to
The City of Gold Coast
Kate Fell, Creative Director, Festival 2018
Julianne Pierce, Producer, Festival 2018
Natasha Edwards and Ruth Della , Swell Sculpture
Photo Credit: (from top)
Jeanene Hyles, Kelli Rogers, Merran Tippett, Leah King
The design of motifs started with a figure/ground study of natural elements reconstructed to associate culturally symbolic elements. Once the visual study was complete, Jin Choi then used it to form the basis of the crochet pattern. Began with the computer generated geometric diagrams, she slowly crocheted each motif, adjusting the type and number of stitches and the paths, keeping the original concept intact.
Once each motif was completed, she wrote detailed instruction and created a technical pattern for all of the volunteer crocheters to follow. Each of prototype motifs were duplicated by the other crocheters who made a total of 100 motifs. Each motif is hand crocheted and consists of a single, continuous yarn, which is broken only for changing spools.
As the Lace motifs were completed, they were assembled on the floor of a gallery space in Benowa, near to the site. Many crocheters and local volunteers worked together to join the completed lace pieces. Each piece was joined into large segments, then each segment joined to create the complete skin of the Urchin.
Part of the beauty of the Urchins comes from the illusion of levitation. Achieving this illusion required the use of modern high strength fibers, effective lighting scheme and a structural framing capable of holding the heavy lace membrane and yet visually minimal. Thomas Shine engineered the structural framing system that is light-weight and collapsable, but rigid and easy to assemble. He also devised the simple and time saving method of installation to accommodate the tight construction schedule and efficient lighting scheme.
Special Thanks to Artist Suzi Lucas and Sculptor’s Society
Old craft brought back and elevated into fine art.
Skills learned from generations before connected us with the memories from the past and also with the people from the area whom we have never known.
Working with people who share a single goal to achieve the same vision under a tight schedule brought people together, creating incredible bonds through support, encouragement and care for each other. The shared web page dedicated to the volunteers participating in the project reveals surviving the crisis of material shortage, urgent meet-ups for help, brilliant solutions for complicated patterns, the appreciation and support they received from their families, their pride from achieving something bigger than life and precious laughter shared with everyone. Truly, it generated a sense of community, empowering everyone involved. The process of the formation of art became significant as the creative journey or pure expression itself. Each element is identifiable and legible as they were created by different individuals, but contributing to the whole under a coherent creative direction.
Special Thanks to
If you would like to participate
in our future crochet projects,
please send us an email to:
skim [at] choishine.com
Unless otherwise noted, the images and design are copyright 2017-2018 Choi+Shine Architects, LLC. All rights reserved.
“The Urchins” is trademark of Choi+Shine Architects.
Contact: Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.