Artist: Gabby O’Connor
Location: Oxford, UK / Auckland, New Zealand
What lies beneath was installed as 3 site specific responses, depicting the submerged part of an iceberg. The first was at The City Gallery Wellington, NZ and was 12m x 4m x 2m and created to fit over a sky light of the same dimensions. The components for What Lies Beneath are made from dyed and lacquered tissue paper and are stapled together. What lies beneath is lit with natural light augmented by 6 x 3 foot fluorescent lights. The entire work fits inside a regular sized suitcase. The same parts were reconfigured and installed at the House of Waiwera in Auckland and 5 separate smaller bergs, What Lies Beneath – the return were installed at the North Wall in Oxford, UK.
The three works, What lies beneath and What lies beneath – the return consider the ‘home coming’ of the lost and preserved explorers, as if the icebergs carrying their bodies will eventually navigate their way back to the UK via NZ, diminishing and fracturing as they move northwards. With this work O’Connor is also imagining all of the previously calved icebergs with their cargo of explorers, historical climate information or penguin droppings, congregating, fracturing and marching northward together initially as a single berg, and then as a flock or flotilla.