An 8.5-metre-high, bright pink immersive artwork that doubles as a life-size maze, called The Knot, has been unveiled at Federation Square.
Designed by French architect-turned-artist Cyril Lancelin, it looks like a piece of wacky knitting, dropped from a giant set of needles and changes appearance as you walk through it. At night, when lit from inside, it glows. “When the sunlight comes, it will have shadows on itself,” the 46-year-old Lyon-based artist said. “It’s easy and complex at the same time.”
Made using inflatable plastic because it’s transportable, recyclable and can create a sizeable form without using much material, The Knot is intended “to take people to an unknown place”.
“It’s a surprising artwork. The idea is to make people go inside and when you’re inside, to explore, to feel like you’re somewhere else,” the artist said. “There’s no building or space like this that we know… It’s like a new place, a new exploration.”
Lancelin’s art is eclectic, using primitive shapes: spheres, cylinders, cubes, pyramids. His work, via his studio Town and Concrete, includes Flamingo Torus, a massive interwoven flock of pink flamingoes in New York – the legs reminiscent of The Knot – Blue Pyramid made from what look like stainless steel balloons in Lisbon, and Mix, a large-scale piece made from fake watermelons in Beijing.
“The thing about artwork is I like it to be immersive: people can look at it, then they can look from the inside,” he said. “It doesn’t exist without the public, the public make the work.”
Based on mathematical equations, Lancelin said the circular form of The Knot responds to the hard edges and triangles of Fed Square.
While disappointed he can’t be here to see the finished work in situ, Lancelin said Instagram allowed him to engage. “I’m always interested to see how people talk about it, not by words but by their pictures. It’s like a dialogue, [there are] always unexpected pictures.”