With over 70,000 feet expected to walk all over this installation, the design team knew they needed a durable coating. Just as importantly, it needed to be suitable for off-site construction.
Maser’s Higher Ground reimagined a world of converging architecture and geometry on a grand scale. Rising up and reaching over two storeys high, the artwork’s physical and visual boundaries collide; an explosion of colours, shapes and stripes offered visitors plenty of reasons to explore space. Part art installation, part photo-playground, Higher Ground was a dream come true for those who always wished they could step inside a painting.
The Higher Ground installation had limited time and access to site for the installation. The artwork had to be built off-site, so it was engineered as a demountable structure then loaded onto trucks and manoeuvred through narrow Sydney streets before being reassembled on site. The paint supply needed to be colour consistent to allow touch ups to be made to the artwork once reassembled on site without them being noticeable.
Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint was used for a durable finish with good coverage and a fast drying time. The artwork’s skin was marine ply, and Resene Lumbersider weathered well outdoors as well as allowed for daily cleaning of the artwork. Sydney Festival was also the first festival in Australia to be certified to the new international environmental sustainability standard (ISO 20121:2012 Event Sustainability Management Systems). With the environment and sustainability at the heart of the festival’s business practice, Resene Lumbersider’s Environmental Choice approved status was an added benefit.
With so many visitors walking over this artwork, the floor paint needed to resist dirt and oils but match the look and colour of the Resene Lumbersider. Resene Uracryl 403 was used as a heavy duty finish to repel stains and provide an easy clean surface.
The coverage of the paint minimised the painting time and number of coats required; without this the artwork would not have been finished on schedule.
Higher Ground quickly became a visitor favourite. Its use of colour, combined with its sheer size, made it a landmark for the whole festival, becoming one of the largest temporary public artwork commissions Sydney Festival has ever undertaken.