Construction: Stainless steel
Graham Bennett’s sculptures deal directly with relationships between people, place and identity, with particular reference to the Pacific region. In Brick Bay’s Seek, the informing idea is that of Aotearoa/New Zealand as an island. The two forms of Seek suggest two islands, two segments of a globe. The overall proportion of each is that of 1/18th of the globe based on latitudinal and longitudinal divisions. All manner of association can be read into the physical shape of this work and the transient forms it creates through the sweep of its wind-generated movement. One can read references to charts and maps, navigational devices that speak of the ocean, Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, the place in our history and psyche, its impact on people as island dwellers. The crossing arcs of the outer contours hint at cycles, currents, patterns, all relating to the oceanic existence of this land.
Thematically, Bennett explores aspects of arrival by settlers. He references particularly the brigantine that his ancestors brought here in 1868. But the association is more universal than this. The work is inclusive. It references all manner of ocean-going vessels and voyaging canoes. Seek encompasses journeys by the earliest arrivals: voyages migrational, colonial, ancestral.
In Seek the use of reflective material, stainless steel, creates a constant change of colour associated with the surroundings and the sky. Ambiguities and illusions are created as the forms move through their drill. This encourages the viewer away from a static presentation and encourages movement around the work in order to explore it fully, to engage with it more completely.
Seek is one of three variations on a theme. The other two works in this series utilise the same two forms of Seek but are not wind responsive. One is a ground-based horizontal version and the other is a static vertical.