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Environmental Choice Resene Paint for Festival Installation

With a nod to MC Escher's perspective-skewing artwork, Maser's Higher Ground reimagined a world of converging architecture and geometry on a grand scale — one of the largest temporary public artwork commissions Sydney Festival has ever undertaken. Higher Ground was commissioned by the Sydney Festival and under Maser's creative leadership it took over seven months to design and construct the artwork. While on display for just a few weeks, over 35,000 people visited the work.

Rising up from the Hyde Park lawn and reaching over two storeys high, the artwork's physical and visual boundaries collide. The 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.

Higher Ground was the largest public artwork ever undertaken by Maser, and a significant engineering challenge for Sydney Festival. Maser was clear that he required paints with the highest quality pigments. To maintain Maser's creative integrity and ensure uncompromising colour matching, Sydney Festival chose to collaborate with Resene.

The artwork had to be built offsite and 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.

With 30,000+ people 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 recommended. It repelled stains and was very easy to keep clean.

Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint was recommended as a durable finish with good coverage and a fast drying time. The artwork's skin was marine ply, and Resene Lumbersider weathered well outdoors and allowed for daily cleaning of the artwork. Sydney Festival is 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 very important.

Maser's artworks all over the world adopt a striking geometric pattern and use a bold palette of primary colours. This has become the signature of his artworks and the reason he is one of the most recognisable street artists in the world today. Colours for Maser's work were created by matching a bold collection of PMS colours to his exacting requirements. The quality and coverage of the paint cut down on the painting time and number of coats required; without this the artwork would not have been finished on schedule.

This year, Resene celebrates 20 years of Environmental Choice approval. Resene joined the Environmental Choice programme in 1996 and now has an extensive range of Environmental Choice approved paints, primers, sealers, coatings and stains designed for projects inside and out, as well as the Resene testpot range.

Colour selection: Maser
Event: Sydney Festival

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