TROPICAL ANTICS: GREEN ANT LIGHT SCULPTURES
Aboriginal Bush Traders (ABT) has installed a dazzling display of vibrant glowing green ants on the Seaview lawns of their home, the historic Lyons Cottage on the Darwin Esplanade.
Excited by the launch of Bruce Munro’s Tropical light exhibition, ABT reached out to Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation’s talented Holtze Team to commission a large green ant that could glow at night. What they produced far outweighed all expectations, delivering a family of giant green ants that light up from abdomen to antennae. A spectacular installation that shines into the night and tells the ABT story, embedded in the ABT logo.
The Holtze Team are a Community Development Program supported and run by Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation, developing skills with a particular focus on construction, fabrication and manufacturing. Team members Daleighla Brock and Ben Worthington are the artists behind these luminescent sculptures. Both are proficient with metal working techniques and poured weeks of labour into realising the project.
These iridescent light sculptures have been garnering quite a lot of attention from passers-by, particularly given the enthusiasm of the Tropical Light trail weaving its way through the Darwin CBD. They will be lit up from 6:30pm to 6:30am daily so be sure to swing by and bask in the glow.
Oh, and tag us in your photos so we can see your pics!
Daleighla Brock is an Indigenous artist born and raised in Darwin who is driven to capture the attention of audiences with her ambitious metal sculpture projects. After studying metal work in high school, Brock went on to learn welding with her grandfather and began creating her own metal sculptures. When beginning a project, Brock starts to imagine the lines and shapes of an animal, sketched out in 3D. From a rough drawing, Brock begins rendering the legs and arms first then and the rest of the body until the project is complete.
Tropical Antics is Brock’s largest project to date, saying, “It was a challenge for me because I was thinking, Oh, I’m not going to finish it in time! Then I said to myself, NO, you gotta do this girlfriend, toughen up. This is the way you’re gonna do it. All right first things first, legs, knuckles…”
When asked what it was like to see the work in place on the Esplanade with so many people coming to enjoy and take photos, Brock replied, “It makes me feel excited, that I’ve achieved something that’s made everybody so happy. To see something so big that’s out there, it’s like, woah!”
Ben Worthington is a Darwin born and raised artist who learnt to weld at the age of 15 in high school with a few good tips from his Boiler Maker cousin. Traditionally making on a smaller scale, Worthington works with metal, Perspex and wood to render sculptural figures and animals. Tropical Antics was on a much larger scale, something that he had never attempted before. Working in large formats presents its own challenges, “Trying to get the right shape and pretty much to get it to look exactly like the ant took long hours of work.”
The knuckle joints of all the ants were the most difficult to construct, bending the metal rio bars with precision and securing the joints.
When asked how he felt about his work being displayed for all to see at Aboriginal Bush Traders, Worthington replied, “I feel ecstatic and proud that it’s added for everybody to look at.” When asked what is coming next? “I’m working on a 3D barramundi made of wood.”
GREEN ANT STORY
The three green ants: Aboriginal People and Aboriginal Bush Traders with Industry/Government,are working together towards creating a secure and sustainable economic future (the nest) forAboriginal People.
The logo features the rarrk (cross hatch) which is typically found in Top End cultural arts, signifying our regionalinterest. You can’t build a strong nest without working together. So, our focus is on creating strong partnerships with all stakeholders to ensure objectives are met.