Collection Online
polyvinyl chloride, glass beads, silver wire, glass, wood and transparent synthetic polymer resin
(a-e) 106.2 × 129.1 × 129.2 cm (installation)
Place/s of Execution
Adelaide, South Australia
Accession Number
Australian Sculpture
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1999
© Courtesy of the artist
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

Dead in the water is from a series of works that refer to Fiona Hall’s interest in environmental degeneration, native species, systems of classification, museology, colonial history and botany. This work elaborates a consistent theme in Hall’s art: the uneasy relationship between culture and nature.

The work comprises 13 individual elements constructed from PVC plumbing pipe, silver thread and glass beads. The display case has a dividing shelf between top and bottom – an implied waterline. Perforated pipe ends sit above the waterline, connected below to marine-like invertebrates and delicate coral forms that Hall has used for their literal indication of biological fragility and ecological instability. Each of the woven components emerges organically as Hall’s remarkable technical skill and virtuosity impress themselves upon her chosen materials.