Christmas: the season of hope and love, of giving thanks, celebrating with our family, friends and colleagues, of acknowledging those who touch our lives throughout the year, time to rest and reflect, and to remember the words:
Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to all men.
The perfect time to enjoy Heritage, an amazing work by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang currently showing at Brisbane's GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art).
Ninety-nine life-size replicas of animals from around the globe, come together in one place to drink from a beautiful blue pool.
A single drop of 'rain' intermittently falls, the resulting ripples the only disruption to this peaceful scene.
Giraffes and zebras, an elephant, monkeys, gazelles.
Kangaroos, tigers, pandas...
Enmity is put aside, violence is absent, as all drink the water essential to survival.
Heritage is, of course, an allegory.
It is about the bridging of cultures, about coming together, overcoming fear, and living in peace.
It is profoundly moving, causing gasps of wonder and astonishment as viewers enter the room. We know in an instant that the animals we see would not, in many cases, associate in this way. And we are shocked by the beauty of seeing them suddenly working together in harmony.
Cai has spent considerable time in Australia, where he has observed the diversity of our society, the debates about immigration which constantly circulate, and the history of Australia's indigenous population.
He has visited North Stradbroke Island, just off the coast near Brisbane, and was inspired by its lakes:
The animals stand on pristine white sand around the enormous pool, which takes up an entire gallery space.
Heritage is a new work, commissioned especially for the exhibition Falling Back to Earth, and will be on show through to 11 May 2014.
Not to be missed!!
Enjoy the Season!!