Sunday, 20 January 2013


Alexander Calder is known not only for his delightful mobiles that play with colour, form, balance and breeze, but also for his stabiles. Harry Seidler commissioned Calder to make a stabile for his Australia Square development in Sydney that was completed in 1967. The black sheets of arcing steel bolted together to create this scultpure missed the opportunity to bridge the public footpath space and so engage all passersby in its delight. Instead, it is sited within the propery boundary of the development that is paved open space and does allow for some limited public participation - for Calder's sculpture to be observed 'aesthetically' as an artwork. The development is, after all, inspired Modernism.

The sculpture is looking as good as it did on the day of its installation, apart from the nelgect of its holding down bolts that are showing their 45 years of age. Astonishingly, the base plates show rusting holes where once there were bolts and nuts. Three bolts remain where once there were ten! Bolt details higher in the piece still mark out their precise pretty patterns without any sign of decay. Unfortunately, the voids in the base plates give one the feeling that this stabile might soon become a mobile if it is allowed to continue to deteriorate.

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