Art experience like ‘walking on moon’

MOON MAP: Artist Joanne Mott is building an interactive piece of artwork, 'Lunaris' at Clunes skate park. Lunaris will involve a land work reminiscent of the moon as well as an augmented reality element. Photo: Dylan Burns
MOON MAP: Artist Joanne Mott is building an interactive piece of artwork, 'Lunaris' at Clunes skate park. Lunaris will involve a land work reminiscent of the moon as well as an augmented reality element. Photo: Dylan Burns

Clunes’ history and landscape is the inspiration for a new interactive art installation at the Clunes Skate Park.

Gisborne artist Joanne Mott’s pitch won the Clunes public art commission. 

“This site drew my attention straight away. It felt like a space that would be great to activate further. 

“It has a fantastic view across to the historic Port Phillip Mine, which is the site where the gold rush began,” she said.

There are two components to the artwork. The first component is a 12 metre in diameter land artwork reminiscent of an amphitheater. 

Ms Mott said the form of the artwork was inspired by the shape of the volcano mounds and mullock heaps across Clunes’ landscape. 

A crescent moon shape within the circle of the installation will be made with aggregate quartz.

“This will reference the geological history of the area,” Ms Mott said. 

The immensity of the sky in Clunes also inspired the idea.

“The sky has such a strong presence in this area. The quartz reminded me of the brightness of the moon.

“Moon dust is faceted which makes it sparkle when the sun hits it. The quartz has a similar kind of quality, like beautiful faceted rocks. We will water blast the concrete and quartz aggregate so the surface is sparkly with a likeness to the moon,” she said. 

The second component of the artwork will involve a free app for visitors as well as a component of augmented reality.

“Also set into the circular shape will be a number of little tiles, which will act as tracking markers for an augmented reality app.

“NASA have produced all these amazing high quality images of the moon that are available for the public to use. We will use those to create a moon map so as you walk across the circular art form, you can see the different parts of the moon.”

Ms Mott describes the experience to walking on the moon. 

“I’ve tried to connect it with the cosmos but also with this place. 

“It can be used as a space for people to come down to and hang out. I saw the potential for it to be used for people to dwell and for community engagement.” 

“We look up at the moon at night and see all the little craters but don’t generally know that they all have names. This is an opportunity to learn something more about a form that is so present in our lives,” she said.

Ms Mott says the artwork has the potential to grow in future, with the possibility of working with Indigenous elders and deepening community understanding of their perspective of the cosmos.

Construction will begin soon and should be completed by the end of June.