Commissioned artworks erected in Townsville

Published:11 October 2017

Townsville Artist Alison McDonald was commissioned to create two artwork pieces for the new campus building. Both were made from recycled materials - Engaged out of around 20,000 plastic bottle tops and Connections from Vodafone sim card holders.

Two spectacular sculptural installations commissioned by CQUni have been erected at Townsville campus' newest building.

Created by local Townsville artist Alison McDonald, the two huge works of art are among the most significant art acquisitions by living Australian artists that the university has made over the past 10 years.

Ms McDonald is nationally renowned for her large-scale sculptural installations created from salvaged waste materials, and her two CQUni pieces, Engaged and Connection are made from plastic bottle tops and Vodafone sim card holders respectively.

Gathered from bottle tops from all over the world including all of CQUni's campus footprints as well as countries such as Greece, India, Nepal and China, Engaged perfectly encapsulates CQUni's engagement and social innovation agenda.

"Each plastic lid contribution included in Engaged reveals the collective power of a community and what is possible when it is engaged and well-connected." Ms McDonald said.

Meanwhile Connection, a 12m x 1m long spiral artwork that now hangs in the stairwell of the new building is, like many of the artist’s works, a systematic arrangement of small elements into an aesthetically pleasing geometric or natural form, further enlivened by the interplay of colour, solids and voids and movement.

"Connection references the double helix structure of a DNA molecule, an integral part of the body," Ms McDonald said

"It is constructed from salvaged SIM (subscriber identity module) card holders, hinting at the fundamental need for humans to be constantly connected to each other.

"But if human connections are forever, Connection also suggest a more discomfiting thought that many consumer products used for a brief time and then discarded are also forever (or nearly so): SIM cards and holders, CDs, disks, cassettes, lids, are all items which may take decades, even centuries to break down."

The artworks will be officially unveiled at the new CQUni Townsville Building 2 official opening on Wednesday, 25 October.