When I started the research for this work, I began with thinking about how the security office acts as a bridge between the public and the elected leadership of the nation. Individuals and ideas travel over this bridge to become the framework of the government.
I also became aware of the enormous historical challenges of governing the vast expanse of the nation of Australia. The tyranny of distance was a term that came up in several conversions. The Prime Minister’s office serves as a metaphorical bridge over this distance and I started to see the primarily function of these ‘bridge builders’ as lining up two disparate points in space. Bridges, whether metaphorical or real, build upon layers of understanding and finding a meeting point somewhere in the middle. The physical bridge I ended up with as seen here is a clean and logical metaphor for the messiness and chaos of democracy.
The lumber used for this project is Casuarina torulosa, commonly referred to as ‘forest oak.’ It is part of a surplus of lumber used for the construction of the new Parliament House and has been stored at the Australian National University’s Furniture Department for over 30 years. As a visiting artist to this department, I was allowed access to this treasure of native Australian lumber for my project and have been thrilled to see its travels from the new Parliament House to the old.