The Change

Michael Snape’s “The Change” 1987 is a huge airy tumble of place steel shapes painted Royal Blue. A large semi-circle of metal plate tilting 30 degrees upwards from it’s tapered ends, an industrial tiara gives structure to the work and encompasses the other 12 elements which are welded to it and to each other. Although the work is roughly seven meters in diameter and five meters high it only touches the ground in six places which creates a lightness, a feeling. This work you can explore by walking in and out under the tilted arch which is nearly two meters above the pavement at it’s mid-point and which tapers down at either end to tips that touch the ground seven meters apart. Be aware the large triangular elements welded to the arch create many projecting points and trip hazards. The largest triangles are several meters high by a meter or so wide and two of these help hold the middle of the arch off the ground. The tips of many of these triangular shards point towards the sky and the highest tip is around five meters above the pavement.

I knew that the as soon as the first sail triangle element went in that it was going to – that experience of being on the harbour at that moment – completely permeated my experience of the material and when you title a work you want to – the title is a pointer – it doesn’t necessarily – you don’t want it to describe the work and know – I mean, I could have been more overt and called it the Southerly Buster which is what Sydneysiders know that experience as. It is an abstract sculpture that has used a particular specific experience but ultimately it is not important the sculpture exists in its own right independent of that it just helped me and the story of it certainly helps people into the sculpture.

– Michael Snape 1987

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