Floating Land a Triumph of art

By Fiona Ewington

Our region is arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the world so it is hard to imagine on a cloudless sunny day or calm clear evening that our natural environment could be further enhanced, but the recent Floating Land: at the edge of Ideas art exhibition has truly made a significant and colourful impact.

Running between 9 – 24 October, those lucky enough to have visited Noosa’s Boardwalk or Lake Cootharaba, Boreen Point would have witnessed some incredible thought-provoking art features.  Some subtle, some outstanding and some interactive, the environmental message was powerful.

A project of Noosa Council and Noosa Regional Gallery, Floating Land: at the edge of ideas, marks the 11th iteration of Australia’s premier art in the environment event.  Conceived in 2001 as a biennial outdoor sculpture program, Floating Land focuses on temporary installation of artwork that engage and collaborate with the special and spectacular spaces in which they are presented.  Collaborating with USC to support and document the project this year’s exhibition did not disappoint.

Designed to continue the conversation of climate change and environmental issues, these intelligent art pieces complimented the areas they were exhibited beautifully. Large swaying jellyfish hung from tree branches along Little Cove’s boardwalk, with Laguna Bay’s rippling surf as its backdrop cleverly slotted into its location, also reminding us that these sea jellies are thriving in our warming waters.

Swinging, whistling nests, tall green and yellow feathers and bold orange painted panels all provided an unusual discovery voyage nestled surreptitiously in various locations along the boardwalk.  Seashells in trees, and mail boxes by the ocean, all had special messages and interactive engagement.

Along the shore of Lake Cootharaba black swans made from recycled car tyres appeared to swim gracefully and pretty coloured kaleidoscope flowers made from single use plastic bottle lids edging closer to the water.

For some locals taking exercise in these locations may find the art as a confrontational eyesore, whilst others enjoy the uniqueness of the sculptures and the ideas behind the creations, all the pieces were engaging and stimulating.

Like it or loathe it, art has an empoweringinfluence, encouraging introspection and discussion which perhaps will promote further encouragement at keeping our planet as nature intended.  Afterall, isn’t that what art is all about?

Further information on Floating Land and its artists can be found on Floating Land website at www.floatingland.org.au