Now dear reader you might ask why “Inside Australia”. Well this is because we have had a cultural experience out here 51km from Menzies beside and on Lake Ballard. In 2003 the Australian taxpayer (perhaps there were some sponsors as well) appears to have funded Antony Gormley, a renowned British sculptor, to install 51 figures on the salt encrusted lake surface. Now it takes about a day to wander around the lake and see them all. We didn’t do this, saw about 7 of them in an hour or so; they are about 200 metres apart, or so it seems.
Now these 51 figures are all derived from laser scans of Menzies inhabitants. They are reduced , cross sectioned and played around with to finish up with what the sculptor has called “insiders”. I suppose they have been reduced to their bones and not much more. Males are distinguishable from females.
Now for the culture bit:
“The Insider reveals an attitude in a taut abstract shape formed by the passage of the person’s life. Out on the salt lake they become antennae in space in relationship with each other but also with the land and the limit of our perception: the horizon,” says Antony Gormley.
Now that is interesting stuff. Allthego took his camp stool out on the Lake and sat down and had a brief chat with one of these “insiders”. She didn’t have much to say. Went on about how wet it had recently been and how she always got a thrill out of seeing people out here on the Lake. She wondered why I was sitting on a chair. I said this was because she and her 50 mates were all standing up. Maybe Antony should have had one of them sitting down, would have added a talking point to the whole thing.
The whole installation left one a bit mesmerised, particularly as away in the distance a mirage gave the appearance of water in the lake. Allthego thinks that maybe the message is about stripping away the trappings of life, engaging with the natural environment, rejuvenating the soul and moving to a higher plane and level of consciousness.
Or something like that.
An interesting day out and a long drive back to Leonora.