Wolfgang Buttress, The Australian National University, Canberra
UNA, a sculpture by artist Wolfgang Buttress, was commissioned in 2012 for the new medical science precinct at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. The research into digitally plotting the stars was done in collaboration with respected astrophysicist Dr. Daniel Bayliss of ANU.
A highly polished 4m diameter stainless steel sphere features 9,100 laser cut perforations which accurately map the stars visible to the naked eye in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which are laser cut according to their luminosity.
The inner sphere reflects rays of light, adding a magical dimension to the artwork experience. Peering through the perforation of a single ‘star’ the viewer is suddenly captivated by a field of cosmic vision. The highly polished inner sphere reflects tiny rays of light filtering through the outer ball. Bouncing off the polished inner surfaces, the effect, at different times of the day, reveals a beautiful and entirely different universe.
Integration into the university site was paramount, active collaboration between the project team ensured UNA sits perfectly within the outdoor courtyard and lecture theatre – which acts as the connecting space between medical science faculties.
Images: UNA, Wolfgang Buttress (2013) Australian National University Canberra (Photos: Ben Wrigley) produced in collaboration with M. Morrison.