Equinox, an animated sculpture by British artist Mat Collishaw that was commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai, was unveiled at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion on Tuesday.
The pavilion provides a stunning showcase for the 3D artwork that harnesses zoetrope technology, an early form of animation, to create an optical illusion.
The centrepiece is a giant lotus flower, featuring an orbit of insects, spinning on its vertical axis. Its petals act as ‘shutters’ – animating the insects within as they appear to fly, eat and pollinate in perfect harmony. The petals of the flower function as a sacred chalice conserving insect ecology, with their enhanced scale underscoring the cataclysm that would follow their decline.
Accompanying the work, which stands more than five-metres high and three-metres wide, is a selection of poems that praise the sanctity of nature, including those by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and English poet and painter William Blake. The entire installation and setting is poetic commentary on the delicate calibration of the Earth’s natural ecosystems and will inspire millions of visitors to re-examine their relationship with the natural world.
Mat Collishaw said: “My work engages with subject matter that involves an engagement with how we as humans navigate the world and the choices we make. The sustainability theme of Terra provided a context, literally and metaphorically, for an experience that invites contemplation and reflection on the precarious nature of the earth's ecosystem.
“Grimshaw’s architecture in the Inner Core, with its circular geometry, water reservoir and skylight, frame the artwork in an exhilarating way, and I hope it inspires people to want to protect their environment. I am honoured to be invited to be part of Expo 2020 Dubai, which is also obviously a monumental platform for significant public engagement.”
Mona Al Ali, Senior Manager, Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Standing at the very heart of Terra, Equinox honours the core purpose of The Sustainability Pavilion – to showcase the wondrous delicacy of our natural world and our shared duty to protect it for the betterment of both people and planet. I have no doubt that this beautiful installation, born from a fruitful collaboration between Mat, Futurecity and the Terra team, will capture the imagination of each and all who encounter it – inspiring them to become the change makers of tomorrow.”
Mark Davy, Founder and CEO, Futurecity, said: “Futurecity is honoured to be the curators for such a high-profile arts commission bringing arts, science and technology together on a global stage at the inner core of the Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020.
“Mat Collishaw’s Equinox has the power to make complex ideas accessible to everyone, acting as a lens and catalyst for visitors to contemplate their relationship with nature in the context of living sustainably. Equinox creates the ultimate and intoxicating moment in the Sustainability Pavilion that responds to the content of the exhibition and the architecture of the central core, transporting the audience to a place of wonder and appreciation for their natural environment.”
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