inspiration through exploration: singapore, indonesia & adelaide

‘the dirt’ will be taking a bit of a turn in content for the next few months since I’m going to be adventuring around the world for awhile. I hope that you find inspiration through my exploration as I share some of the artwork that I come across in my travels with you …and I promise I will eventually get back in the studio and return you to your regular ceramic sculpture programming!

After I finished my residency in Taiwan, I went to Singapore first, partly to break up the long haul flight to Australia and partly to actually see Singapore- I’d only had quick transfers in the airport before but never enough time to actually leave the airport- man was I missing out!

We spent New Years Eve exploring the downtown area of Singapore, the public art (and the fireworks/drone display) was amazing. The Gardens by the Bay was my favorite (of course!) – combining art and nature into monumental installations, yes please! The floating ovoids were lit up after dark and changed color as patrons touched the ones on the edges of the water. The Super Trees have live plants growing up their trunks and have walkways between some of them, and they are also lit up at night. I had seen images of them before but had never realized how massive they actually were until I was there in person.

I had also seen images of the whale installation pictured above when it was first installed in Bruges Triennial but had no idea that it had been moved to the Singapore ArtScience Museum, I was so thrilled to see it in person. It’s called ‘Skyscraper’ with the tag line, ‘we have breached the limit’, it is made of 5 tons of plastic ocean trash. It’s a monumental piece that obviously tells the story of our current relationship with the oceans and how that needs to change.

The ArtScience Museum was another favorite, it has curated exhibitions that you can choose to purchase tickets for individually, one was sold out but the two we attended we based on the ideas of how we see the future, not necessarily utopian or dystopian but an artistic projection of what the future could be based on where we are right now. It was a fascinating display of interactive experiences using light, sound, images and installations to showcase the artists ideas. Some works required participation, some just observation. I loved the art and science quotes painted on the walls of the museum.

While in Singapore, we also took advantage of how close it was to the tiny and beautiful islands of Indonesia. So we hopped on a ferry and took a ride through the South China Sea to a small resort with tiny wooden cabins built over the ocean for a few nights. And what are the chances, but they had a full ceramic studio onsite on the island. They had kick wheels, a wood kiln and a studio space where visitors could have a clay experience. They also used a lot of their handmade ceramic pots at the resort as well. Totally serendipitous!

After our few days there, we headed back to Singapore to catch a flight to Adelaide Australia. We spent some time exploring the city, tasting the amazing wine and then headed to the coastal town of Victor Harbor in the hope of seeing penguins. The Little Penguins are endangered and there are only a few of them left on the island, so they are heavily protected and we weren’t sure if we’d actually get to see them. The island the penguins live on is tiny and they only show up after sunset, so we spent the time before sunset having a picnic dinner and walking the loop trail around the island.

I didn’t know it in advance but a subset of the famous Sculpture by the Sea exhibition (which takes place on the cliffs above Bondi beach in Sydney) had a permanent sculpture installation on Granite Island called Sculpture Encounters. The three works in the above photos were a few of my favorites out of the few dozen on the island and catching them as the sun was setting was a perfect treat!

Oh! And we did manage to get a brief glimpse of one Little Penguin before it burrowed into it’s hole for the night!

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