Cave Urban - Cranbrook School

Cave Urban

01 Jun 17 by Fiona Crawford, Head of Visual Arts

On a beautiful sunny Sunday, the kind of winter’s day that only Sydney can provide, two Year 11 Visual Arts students, came direct from collecting for the Salvation Army to accompany me to the Museum of Contemporary Art. We were keen to attend the Vivid Ideas Session, featuring artists represented at Sculpture by the Sea. The artists presented on the challenging conceptual and practical aspects of producing and exhibiting work at the Sydney ‘institution’, the annual Bondi to Bronte walkway sculpture exhibition.

Each artist had been exhibited over many years. It included Jane Gillings, an artist who uses recycled materials with humour and creativity. Jane has presented an exciting workshop at Cranbrook, with students creating sea creature-inspired sculptures from discarded plastic objects.

Dr. Michael Hill, who curates the exhibition, provided many insightful observations ideas on the cultural and physical aspects of site-specific art making.

For us, the highlight was the presentation of Cave Urban, the artists’ collective that includes co-founder and architect and artist Jed Long (OC 2007, Head of Woodward and Head of Photography), and his brother and creative associate Ned Long (OC 2009). Cave Urban have produced many iconic works in Sculpture by the Sea, including Mengenang, 2012, an evocative and moving bamboo sound installation in memory of the victims of the Bali bombings. It was awarded the People’s Choice and the Mayor’s Prize. Other highlights were Save Our Souls, 2014, a bamboo sculpture in the form of a lighthouse on the headland, reflecting Australian policies towards refugees. The Golden Hour, 2016, created with 600 poles of locally harvested bamboo, was also discussed. You may remember this four-metre high bamboo sphere balancing serenely on the edge of the headland, lined up with the horizon to celebrate sunrise and sunset.

We are thrilled that Cave Urban has been commissioned to create a monumental site-specific bamboo sculpture at Cranbrook in honour of our centenary year. Our senior Visual Arts students are gearing up to be part of the thrilling process of collaborating with Cave Urban in order to collaborate on design, gather materials, help build and install a monumental site–specific artwork adjacent to Rawson House, overlooking the harbour. Cave Urban’s initial concept revolves around designing a contemplative space for our boarders who, removed from high-energy communal living, would benefit from a quiet, light, beautiful space in which to think, imagine, relax and revive.

A vital part of the Cranbrook co-mission is the recognition and celebration of creativity; the arts have always been central to our identity. Therefore we are extremely excited by the prospect of an iconic artwork conceived and produced by Old Cranbrookians and current students, highlighting our particular Cranbrook school site, with its history and exciting future in mind.

 Stay tuned for more developments in our ambitious Centenary project!

Golden Hour 2016, Cave Urban

Golden Hour 2016, Cave Urban

Save our Souls 2014, Cave Urban

Save Our Souls 2014, Cave Urban