Amanda Parer’s Giant, Glowing Sculptures Carry a Global Message

by Margot BuermannPosted on

Image by Frantzesco Kangaris

Australian artist Amanda Parer has her sights set on a global invasion with her dramatic, illuminated sculptures. Her oversized, inflatable creations have been exhibited across the world at a variety of festival sites, museums and public spaces. On her website, the artist shares that her work aims to “explore the natural world, its fragility, and our role within it.”

Image by Jeff Chiu

Originally from Sydney, Parer – a sculptor and painter – resides in Tasmania. Her work has won notable competitions in Australia, including the Blake Prize and Glover Prize.

Parer is perhaps best known for her ongoing installation titled Intrude, which depicts larger-than-life, glowing rabbits that reach more than 20 feet tall. The rabbits have traveled to over 30 cities in countries around the world, including Denmark, South Korea, Turkey and the United States. Her sculptures will make their way to the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas from September 23-25 and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh from October 28-November 6. A similar series, featuring smaller, baby bunny sculptures, will debut at Calgary’s Beakerhead festival from September 14-18.

While the rabbits project a sense of innocence and playfulness, they also carry a serious environmental message. Parer explains that while cute, rabbits are considered invasive to Australia, creating ecological harm and causing an imbalance to the country’s native species. “[The sculptures] are huge, the size referencing to ‘the elephant in the room’, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored,” her website reads.

Other projects include Entitle, featuring inflatable sculptures of a mother pig with piglets, illuminated by gold light and covered in lavish details reminiscent of the Rococo period. The artist states on her website: “In western culture, the pig represents gluttony and Entitle asks us to consider why our contemporary over-indulgent lifestyle exists and at the expense of what?… The piglets feeding on their mother in the artwork represents western cultures and the entrenched sense of multi-generational entitlement we have.”

Parer’s most recent endeavor is titled Fantastic Planet, a traveling installation that was first commissioned by the 2016 Winter Lights Festival in London. The series features giant human-like figures, inspired by the stop motion science film Fantastic Planet (1973). The installation has been making its festival rounds, and is scheduled to appear at Prague’s Signal Festival from October 13-16 and Montréal en Lumière from February 23-March 12, 2017. “These giants from afar will give audiences the impression that they have just landed and are quietly and gently exploring our ‘fantastic planet’,” Parer’s website states.

All images courtesy of Amanda Parer unless noted otherwise.

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