Words and photos by Jenni Mazaraki.
Gold changes people.
Gold leaf on the Providence building in the Abbotsford Convent precinct causes people to stop and stare. A man in a beige scarf pauses and takes photos with his phone from multiple angles. Most people seated in the cafe opposite face towards the gold as they speak to one another.
It is raining, but people still stop and stare, hovering for a moment on their walk through Abbotsford Convent in Collingwood. The arts precinct which is home to artist studios, galleries and cafes is now also the site of The Light and The Ground, an installation by artist Joanna Buckley.
I met Joanna at Abbotsford Convent on the day the installation was completed and saw her guilded work up close. Joanna is a Melbourne based artist who creates site specific work. Bringing The Light and The Ground together with the help of expert guilders from Sydney, she described this piece as a juxtaposition between the weighty solidity of the structure and the delicate quality of the surface. It speaks of the feminine and the powerful. Joanna also described the importance of the relationship between the building and the surrounding trees and the way that the sun sets on the facade creating a luminous quality.
The guilding is actually made of an alloy of copper and zinc, and is protected with a final protective coating to promote longevity. The surface is expected to develop a patina with time, creating a changing appearance to the site.
More info abbotsfordconvent.com.au