Art Lifts

In 1999 I was also invited to be the first artist to install specially commissioned works in the two lifts (elevators) of the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. I decided call my work Art Lifts: Lifting Art, and the Gallery subsequently called the entire series of commissions by artists Art Lifts. The plan was to make the lifts an odd pair – with very different moods and appearances. I wanted the atmosphere of being in each of the lifts to be memorably different. The left one would be cheerful in colour if obtuse in reference: filled with bright stickers as a background for two reflective signs; while the right one would be sombre, painted matt black, with The Relative in polished stainless steel screwed onto the back and side walls.

The sticker chosen for the 'left hand lift' was Stop Go, and almost one thousand were stuck onto all available surfaces within the lift, including its ceiling. This meant that the lift was bright shiny red, with repetitious declarations in miniature balanced by over-sized signs warning with questionable clarity (obtuse gusto?) about Postmodernism and the Avant-garde. This collision of signworks was meant to create an invigorating psychological disturbance for passengers as they travelled between levels of art among the gallery's displays.

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