Janet Echelman’s Tsunami all lit up

Tsunami suspension over George Street, Janet Echelman, 2012

This massive work of art was created by artist Janet Echelman and features in the Love Lace exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. Placed between the Town Hall of Sydney and the Woolworths building in the centre of the city as part of the Art and About event held between the 23 September – 23 October 2011, it took several nights to install including the closure of George St for several hours in the early morning to avoid disruption to daily commuters and traffic.

Janet’s statement reveals:

“Tsunami 1.26, an aerial lace installation, was inspired by the 2010 Chile earthquake’s ensuing tsunami and the 1.26-microsecond shortening of the day that resulted from the earthquake’s redistribution of the Earth’s mass. By meditating on these epiphenomena, the work underscores the interdependence of Earth systems and the global community. It asks the viewer to pause and consider the larger fabric of which they are a part.

My studio generated a 3D model of the tsunami using data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research. I then used software to transform an outline of the model’s higher amplitude area into a sculptural form. My studio created hand-knotted models to achieve the complex shaping of the piece.

This artwork utilizes Spectra®, a material 15 times stronger than steel by weight. The mesh is knotted by machine in order to withstand winds, but is engineered to reflect the intricacy of handmade lace”.

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski
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