Photograph © Richard Tipping 2000

   Artist statement on Watermark:

"This sculpture is meant to evoke the power of the Brisbane River sweeping around this curve at new Farm, triggering memories of the massive floods of 1893 and 1974, and anxieties about the next. The word flood appears in thick solid letters, styled in a san serif font, with only the top third showing, like a headline literally going under. The title Watermark means both a mark showing the height to which water has risen, and a design impressed into paper which is visible when held to the light, guaranteeing authenticity.Giving weight to words, and seeing letters as sculptural forms, mirrors the ways we make thought concrete. Our words become shapes which reflect the energies we speak, and the ideas and passions which they contain."

Artist statement on Watermark:

"When I was commissioned to make Watermark in 2000, I was told that there would never be another flood in Brisbane, thanks to the Wivenhoe Dam. Unfortunately history repeated in January 2011, and remarkably the sculpture became the literal watermark showing the final height of the flood a couple of centimeters above its ground level.

Each letter is self-contained, made of plate steel which has been welded into an airtight form to prevent internal rust.

My advice to public sculptors is to stay closely involved in every stage and watch every detail of manufacture. Without my permission the sculpture was set 5cm into the cement, with a small angled lip on its edges. If I'd been made aware of this, I would have made each letter 5cm higher to compensate. The maximum letter height of 180cm on the 'F' makes the sculpture a tempting climb for children - high enough to be interesting, but not so high that parents having coffee at the nearby cafe are worried.

Watermark has a fifty year contract, whereby the sculptor guarantees a sufficiently robust technical build and Brisbane City Council guarantees care and maintenance. I am glad that the sculpture has become an integral part of its public domain and feels like it belongs to the city."

Watermark under flood, Brisbane River 2011. Photographer unknown - from social media.









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