Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe, 2014

Vertical Landscape

Core is the Latin word for heart, Cuore. It is the central part, the vital essence, the memory (in computer terminology) and the centre of the earth. And for us West Australian’s a very common object - the core samples from mining exploration drilling processes.

Here lays the source of inspiration and initial interest for this series of sculptures by multi-disciplinary artist Alessandra Rossi - Core: A Vertical Landscape.

Rossi’s work has always explored the relationship between what is visible and what is invisible. What is superficial; on the surface and what is inside; deeper, hidden. Most recently she experimented with the juxtaposition between technology and nature.

Core: A Vertical Landscape is a further exploration in this direction, seeking yet again through the use of material and imagery with which we are familiar, to take the viewer places that are unexpected and where they might not go on their own, somewhere between fantasy and reality, between actual and fiction.

Comprising 5 individual pieces which use 50mm drill core sample as the main element, these vertical landscapes are created by the ‘cores’ as columns and at the top of each column a 3D reduced scale, printed figure of a real person. The cutting edge technology used to create the figures links us and separates us yet again from nature.

Rossi's intention for these sculptures is to express a sense of how little we are aware of our body and its connection to the land, and how much we live on the surface of things. The layers, the profundity in both time and space in which we do not venture often enough.

Rossi attempts to provide an insight of what lies beneath our feet, and ironically what we have come to live amongst given these substances are the core of city infrastructure and superstructure. Again the tall columns are a visual reminder of the CBD towers and how we are removed from the earth itself.

The ‘core’ used is mainly basalt with quarz stringers, gabbro, marble, granite and spodumene (lithium oxide)from the Goldfields, Kalgoorlie area, and Esperance. Some come from as deep as 269 meters below the ground - identifying sections of earth as old as 2.66 billion years.

Core samples that exhibit this high degree of stratification in the relatively short lengths were surprisingly difficult to source, given how much exploration work goes on in Western Australia, so the artist sends a really big thank you to all the people who were involved in the big core hunt! Thank you!

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