Introducing…Sally Kidall

by Geoff Hall on May 28, 2013

Sally Kidall – ‘Nomadic City: lest we forget I’  2013.


Copyright Sally Kidall, Thirroul Festival, Australia 2013.

This installation consists of 5 transparent fabric tents arranged concentrically within each other. Positioned and secured onto a bamboo raft structure as if washed up on the tide. The smallest tent supports a patch of growing grass seedlings that flourish during its display.


Copyright Sally Kidall, Thirroul Festival, 2013

This is a commemorative work: ‘lest we forget’ inviting the viewer to participate and engage with the escalating world issue of community displacement and global survivors, whether caused by changes in the climate, social and religious conflict or economic environments. This work is informed by issues relating to the adaption of humanity to a new society of nomadic communities forced from their homes to relocate and survive a life of insecurity and vulnerability.


Copyright Sally Kidall, Thirroul Festival, 2013

This is the first version of Nomadic City, a new 12 raft version is under construction for the large outdoor sculpture show in Sydney’s Bondi: Sculpture by the Sea in October. It will consist of 12 ‘single tent on raft’ structures mounted on the cliff tops at Bondi. The tents will be made from transparent plastic, each encasing a grass-turf floor and supported on a timber/bamboo raft. As the grass photosynthesises condensation will form on the plastic’s surface and at night the tents will glow from within, illuminated by a small solar powered light embedded in the turf. The rafts will be anchored in rows reminiscent to an army/refugee camp and very securely in their highly exposed rock platform above the ocean.


Copyright Sally Kidall, Thirroul Festival, 2013.

About the artist

My passion for making site-specific environmental installations and showing works beyond the confines of the gallery lead me to a variety of opportunities to create art works in the natural environment or in buildings of interest. These included ragged exposed coastal cliff tops and beaches, fresh water and ancient dry lakes, botanic gardens and medieval gate house and churches.

In my practice I experiment with unstable and vulnerable materials such as salt, ice, soap, sugar often incorporating the germination and growing of seeds within works. I aim to create works that change, grow and transform during their display, that are vulnerable and reactive to their surrounding environment. Through my practice I endeavour to confront/challenge the visitor’s perceptions and thinking. Often they find themselves within the artwork, creating their own impression/contribution to the piece. My installations are inclined to create a sense of vulnerability and unpredictability, without a conclusive resolution.


Copyright Sally Kidall, Thirroul Festival, 2013.


“Through site-specific environmental installations and photography I seek to challenge the predictability of expectations & ‘cultural homogeneity’. My art practice is inspired by the complexities, equilibrium and fragility of the natural environment and by the ways in which our man-made systems work within, or in opposition to, these natural systems. The focus of my practice is the concept of transition, including notions of unpredictability, vulnerability, deterioration and ephemerality. It is informed by issues relating to human ecology, cultural displacement, consumption and materialism.”

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One comment

Wow Sally, this work is awesome. Really makes me think of Andy Goldsworthy’s work, which I love as well. Keep it up!

by Chris Lorensson on May 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm. Reply #

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