biodiversity science centre artwork based on proteus
In Greek mythology, Proteus had the power to know but would assume different shapes to evade giving out answers. The Proteaceae family contains the Banksia and Hakea genus and is named after this idea of changing shape [protean], since the leaf forms differ between juvenile and mature.
The artwork presents a changing Proteus to capture the nature of knowledge and the work of the Science Centre: A solid pod with glass lenses, a wire frame of woven stainless steel and a form made of mist. The diverse pieces are set out on that section of the phylogeny chart that maps the Proteaceae family. The chart is inlayed in the Marri floor and extends out into the courtyard to the mist piece.
For the visitor, the artwork encourages investigation and to experience the feeling of discovery when the story of Proteus, the interrelationship between the objects and the phylogeny chart is revealed. For the occupants the artwork places Proteus in residence – someone who knows that in an unknown state the known is within and for you to expect discovery.
western australian conservation science centre artwork
department of environment and conservation + ferguson architects
kensington, western australia
2008 – 2011