The 15 spheres of Steam by Donna Marcus were installed as a public artwork in the new Brisbane Square, Queensland, in October 2006. Known for her sculptures, made from aluminium kitchenware from second-hand shops, Marcus likes the way recycled materials bring memories of their past uses to a new context.
Steam was based on Fall, an earlier work made of vegetable steamers. These works referred to the geodesic domes of 1940s architect and inventor, Buckminster Fuller. The company Cheras was engaged to fabricate 7000 steamers; Queensland Spinners pressed 480 plates; a hole-drilling machine created a million holes; and Everything Metal bolted the plates together and welded the steamers in place.
In thinking about this transformation of her work through industry, Donna Marcus reflects ‘I have not forgotten I am a sheet-metalworker’s daughter’.
You can see Marcus’ work in the new exhibition Smart works: design and the handmade, from 30 March 2007 at the Powerhouse Museum.