Sculpture reflects future endeavour
Reflection, the second and final sculpture in the Linkages public art project between James Cook University and Cairns Regional Council has been unveiled at the Cairns campus.
Celebrating the ongoing close relationship between the two organisations and the 20th anniversary of the founding of the University’s Cairns campus, the dynamic sculpture was inspired by the diverse tropical environment of Cairns.
Designed by artist Braham Stevens, the 5m-high Reflection sculpture features the same expressive arterial delta language of waterways running out to the reef as its intrinsically linked counterpart, the 9m-high Embrace at Munro Martin Parklands.
JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the role of public art was to provoke discussion in the community and the unveiling of the first sculpture Embrace a fortnight ago accomplished that.
“With the final Linkage sculpture now on display we once again have the public embracing the spirit of public art and reflecting upon it, just as the names Embrace and Reflection imply,” she said.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the connection between education and culture recognised through the symbolic Linkage project was an integral part of the Cairns community.
“James Cook University and Cairns Regional Council have a strong and collaborative relationship which was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2011 with the aim of creating lasting educational benefits for the region,” he said.
“These two pieces of public art symbolise this relationship and their location in an education precinct and a cultural precinct should serve to encourage expression and creativity in our community.”
Reflection symbolises future human endeavour and scientific innovation through a figure leaning forward with arms stretched back, while the profile reflects the Smithfield Range directly behind the university’s Founders Green.
Constructed from 40mm laminated laser-cut steel plates, the 98 tectonic exterior plates represent the region’s volatile volcanic past.
The sculpture also incorporates stylised geographic references to the equatorial land masses of Asia, South America, Africa and Australia to signify James Cook University’s tropical leadership.
The Artist: Braham Stevens
Braham is a local artist who lives in the Wet Topics rainforest of the pristine Russell River Valley at the base of Mount Bartle Frere. He has spent 15 years exploring local hiking tracks, waterways and isolated rainforest habitat, fully immersing himself in this unique and dynamic environment that provides ongoing artistic nourishment and inspiration for his work.
With sculptures installed in Innisfail, Mission Beach, Melbourne and Japan, Braham has a diverse background across multiple disciplines of multimedia, landscape design and period architecture restoration and has travelled extensively to Japan where he has studied harmonious stone sculpture and traditional landscaping and post and beam architecture.
Working with oversize hardwood-timber, laser-cut hand-manipulated steel and random shaped boulders weighing up to 50 tonnes, Braham’s artistic output reinterprets Nature’s universal patterns of expression, shared across the disparate mediums of geology, biology and ecology.
Braham's large-scale sculptural works are an organic, fluid expression of the Cairns regional landscape and natural environment intended to be thought-provoking art that inspires curiosity and wonder.
For more information: Contact Liz Inglis 0419 643 494