Chatswood Mall, New South Wales. Australia.
Commissioned by The Willoughby City Council
Water is a precious commodity, a basic condition for life and symbol of prosperity.
It is the determining factor of human settlement and advancement and it is the only element in the world that has no substitute at any price.
By 2020 water use is expected to increase by 40 per cent and by 2025, two out of three people could be living under conditions of water stress.
“Peak ecological water” — is the point where, like the concept of “peak oil”; the world has to confront a natural limit on something once considered virtually infinite.
Within 20 years water will become a bigger theme for investors than oil because of our expanding “water footprint” spelling the end of the cheap water era.
A key element to tackling this crisis is to increase public awareness.
Increasing the price—hence the perceived value of water— coupled with changes in attitude and behaviour, through education that promotes and rewards responsible usage; and social pressure, are some of the ways to change habits quickly.
The application of new water wise technologies to urban design and industrial water use can potentially revolutionise water management in the future.
All the evidence shows that once habits change, even if water control is eased, there is not necessarily a reversion to previous levels of consumption.
A future vision integrating all the different aspects of water is a drop by drop affair in which every small action has a flow on effect.
‘Ripple Effect’ is designed to act on a subtle, subconscious level as both a message bearer of Willoughby Councils’ WSUD implementation policies and as a reminder of the importance of water to our global community, celebrating the small measures that will ultimately account for a renaissance of public understanding.
It has also been designed to be iconic, engaging, tactile and intellectually both stimulating and transparent.
‘Ripple Effect’ is a quiet, somewhat mysterious and contemplative installation designed to act as an oasis of calm or foil in an otherwise busy environment.
Despite the works’ obvious water-like appearance and symbolism, some effort is required on the part of the viewers who by using their imagination to fill in the missing parts initialise a dialogue between themselves and the work.
The informal positioning and horizontal nature of the sculpture encourages further interaction as each component of the installation may be sat on and the contrasting tactile qualities: of smooth and textured, sculpted and natural; explored. Changing light conditions on the artworks’ reflective surfaces and undulating ripples add a kinetic aspect.
The centre of the main installation is a form generated by a giganticised water drop.
It and the ensuing ripple function as both a zen-like focal point and as a non-political statement that all larger actions are composed of many smaller actions.
A drop of rain will not only make its mark but create ripples and a flow on effect as can every member of a community large or small affect and direct the course of a desired outcome.