WestConnex Transurban MCC Main Office, St Peters
The idea for this sculpture came from my interest in the grid. You can only really appreciate that by walking around it and walking through it.
Carbon store by Stephen King is a monumental work that comments on the significant amount of carbon locked up in Australian hardwoods. After a summer of catastrophic bushfires along the Australian east coast that unleashed 250m tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere - almost half the country’s annual emissions – this timely and poignant work is also a hopeful reminder that forest regrowth can help reabsorb carbon emissions.
King’s immense structure at the new St Peters Interchange parkland is intimately linked to the bush landscape in which it was made. King is an artist and farmer in the New England region of NSW. That landscape is the literal foundation for his art: his sculptures are made of trees usually windfall - sourced from his own farmland, or from local, ecologically sustainable self-replacing timber plots. He carves the hardwood logs into trussed beams with a chainsaw, cutting across the grain to create the illusion of a painted brush stroke. The handmade structural elements are slightly off key, each one a different response to the tree from which it came.
Towering over the interchange at 14.5 metres high, Carbon store reshapes our relationship to architecture and creates a more tactile, organic experience within an urban context. The public is invited to step into this immersive space, passing through and around the sculpture as they journey the contemporary cultural landscape.
Stephen King was born in Bingara, NSW in 1958 and graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 1979 with a printmaking major. In 1981 he travelled to London to study at St.Martins School of Art. On his return to the family farm in Walcha, he started making figurative sculpture carved with a chainsaw from fallen timber. Through his unique personal narrative, he addresses issues around humanity, DNA, the environment, religious ideals and the continuum of life. He has explored the business of farming and how man and nature struggle to find the right balance. King has also been instrumental in the creation of Walcha’s “Open Air Gallery” where in a town of 3,000 people there are more than 50 pieces of public art installed around the town.
Through his unique personal narrative, he addresses issues around humanity, DNA, the environment, religious ideals and the continuum of life.
He has exhibited throughout Australia and overseas with his work included in numerous public and private collections. He was invited to represent Australia at the Inami Wood Sculpture Symposium, Japan in 2007, won Aqua sculpture, Port Macquarie twice and has exhibited in Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 18 times, Cottesloe four times and most recently at Aarhus, Denmark in 2015. His work of twenty years was the subject of a survey exhibition curated by Tamworth Regional Gallery which toured NSW in 2014-2015. The more recent transition from the figurative to constructions and the abstract culminated in the work “Fallout” that won him the major award in the 2013 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi. As along-time Decade club member he was an Invited Artist for the 20th Anniversary Sculpture by the Sea Exhibition at Bondi in 2016. King has completed many commissions for private and public clients and enjoys the collaborative process of working with clients, other sculptors and technicians.
These resources have been designed by experienced Visual Arts educators to support students and teachers studying and delivering the NSW syllabus for Visual Arts, and are tailored to Stage 4 and Stage 5.
Stage 6 teachers may also consider some of the artist studies for their students.
This slideshow compliments and aligns with the worksheets for a more visual investigation.
Stage 4 worksheet
This worksheet targets Year 7 and Year 8 students and provides investigations into this artwork and some artmaking tasks that align to it.