GASP Public Sculpture Commission, Derwent River, Wilkinsons Point, Tasmania, 2018
A site specific public sculpture developed with GASP(Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park)
Marine grade aluminium, 4.2m x 80mm x 500mm
“My senses lie to me. They inform me that straight sticks in water are bent. There is no conclusive way to prove that all my experiences aren’t just dreams or hallucinations”. – René Descartes, 1642
Refraction Principle marks the site where fresh river water and salt tidal water meet, creating a ‘Salt Wedge’. The schism in the sculpture embodies the opposition between invisible and apparent forces at the site and those acting in perception. The work is installed in the river and is viewable from Wilkinson’s Point.
Refraction Principle distills an extended period of research that follows on from his participation in the Swimmable! LAB in 2014, Geurts undertook extensive on-site research and development of his project during a two-month residency with GASP and UTAS, Nov.-Dec 2015. This included the staging of a tidal drawing action: Drawing in: Derwent River (low tide-high tide). On the 4th November Geurts launched a small row boat from the GASP site, Wilkinson’s Point at precisely 10:39am (low-tide), and set adrift upriver with the incoming tide for 5 hours until 03:42pm. The tidal line drawing that he produced references psycho-topographical mapping and the fluid dynamics of the river. The currents took him across the Derwent, past MONA, drawing him upriver, where he drifted ashore near the Cadbury’s factory.