Auguste Rodin’s famous sculpture the Thinker, debuted in 1904, is a physically-perfect embodiment of the values of reason, philosophy and intellect.
Amanda Parer’s Man, created this year, is an obese and downcast figure, head in hand, slumped into its lap.
The contemporised stand-in for all humanity is contemplating what went wrong.
“It’s a metaphor for us overdoing it, and only just coming to that realisation now,” she said.
The 12-metre cubed installation will be placed in the middle of the First Basin at Cataract Gorge for Mona Foma.
The plan is to lower it into position on the water via helicopter, where it will light up the basin for the duration of the music and arts festival.
In the picturesque gorge, Man will literally dominate the natural world.
“A lot of the themes in my work are about our relationship with the environment, and at the core of that is, I guess, trying to understand our arrogance,” Parer said.
“Doing giant pieces is a way to remind us to have a little humility.”
However, she doesn’t want to bum you out.
Parer’s works invite whimsy and play – she said when she spies on viewers interacting with them, she sees them “turn into children.”
“They run around them and kiss them and hug them, and I really like that,” she said.
“The other aspect to them is fantasy; creating this fantasyland.
“That’s why I love art so much: because you can have all these layers of meaning. If you have people really digging into it and thinking about it and researching the themes of the work, then that’s ideal – but if you have people just enjoying it, then that’s great as well.”
Parer is a Launceston-based artist who exhibits all over the world.
Her giant, inflatable sculptures have drawn astonished looks in places like the Mid-Summer Festival in Hong Kong, Spotlight in Bucharest, and Exploratorium in San Francisco.
The idea of doing the installations came to her when she was watching the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
After Mona Foma her next work will be Lost, 40 light-up, blown-up renderings of extinct or endangered plants from all over the world, to sprout over the building and grounds of the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
She is accepting applications for locations to exhibit both Lost and Man.
But in the mean time, she is looking forward to witnessing the Mona Foma effect.
“[The festival] has really provided a platform where, not only can [artists] gather together with international artists, but also celebrate what we have,” she said.
“I think that’s really important, because we have something special here. To use that for the economic benefit of the city, that’s a bonus for everyone, not just the cultural scene.”
While you're with us, did you know that you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates and daily headlines direct to your inbox. Sign up here.