Brett Graham<br/>
<em>Shield of Antarctica</em> 2012 <!-- (recto) --><br />

synthetic polymer paint on Beech (Fagus sp.), wax<br />
195.9 x 171.5 x 43.0 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2013<br />
2013.39<br />
© Brett Graham

Brett Graham Shield of Antarctica 2012

Brett Graham
Shield of Antarctica 2012

As climate change threatens to alter Antarctica irreparably, Graham’s Shield of Antarctica is a supplication to guard our environment against destruction. Marked by converging grooves and a marbled lacquer coating, this disc-shaped wooden sculpture borrows from customary Maori carving traditions. While the work is imposing in its stasis, when approached its lines appear to advance and retreat in an optical illusion, imparting a sense of urgency to Graham’s serious plea for environmental protection. He has created a chillingly beautiful, finely grooved, spherical wooden shield of protection for a beleaguered continent.