Progressing the World Expo '88 Vision
- A non-government not-for-profit entity celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 -
"Paradigm" (1988) (H: 32000mm)
"Morning Star II" (1988) (H: 4267mm)
Jon Barlow Hudson - U.S.A.
Commissioned for World Expo '88
'Installing PARADIGM and MORNING STAR II at World Expo 88'
by the Artist
After waiting a year from the time I sent in slides, I called Expo HQ the summer of '87 and was put through to John Truscott, who had just been hired as Creative Director. He asked if I could make a couple of my sculptures on a large scale and in response to my positive agreement, he asked for a formal proposal. Upon receiving those, he wired me a hundred thousand dollars to begin construction, prior to having signed the contract.
PARADIGM was specified at 100 feet high by 8 feet diameter in stainless steel and MORNING STAR at 15 feet diameter in mirror polished stainless steel. Construction took place at Commercial Metal Fabricators in Dayton, Ohio. It required 5 months of hard work by a good-sized crew. It was required to be designed to withstand 110 mph and constructed in 7 sections for shipping and installation purposes. Packed into the 5 land-sea shipping containers there was just a 1/2 inch to spare on either side, by plan.
MORNING STAR required 3 months to construct 80% of it in the fab shop, since it could not be larger than 12 feet diameter for shipping purposes. Once it was on Expo site, we hired a couple of welders and polishers that hailed from New Zealand to finish the piece with me, in five weeks.
PARADIGM was received and installed by Expo crews before my arrival. It was bolted together without a problem and stood as straight as an arrow--its first time together as a complete unit, for it had been constructed only piece by piece, horizontally. Working on Expo Site for those 5 weeks was an experience for a lifetime--the excitement, energy and creativity was fabulous and infectuous. The hotel where the few sculptors were billeted also held some Russians who were building their pavilion and who apparently were not allowed to talk with anyone else. Working with my crew of Kiwis was a party every day. Being around the engineers and administrative crew in the offices, from John Truscott to a descendent of Ned Kelley to Pru with her Dom Perignon, was inspiring in its complexity, thoroughness and activity. Truscott had asked me to suggest other sculptors to exhibit, so I sent him a list, such as Arnaldo Pomodoro, among others. Working alongside the other artists, both local and international and seeing their works appear was very inspiring.
During this time period I explored both Expo Site and Brisbane. One rainy day I was even hit by a van while on my bike--my fault--but the driver managed to stop in time to not do me any damage.
Following the installation of MORNING STAR between the USA and Italian pavillions and the old bank, I traveled around the country both in Australia and New Zealand for another five weeks. Friends have since visited Brisbane and seen MORNING STAR in the Botanical Gardens, which has been rewarding feed-back--I have yet to see it in person.
I have been frustrated however, that, as of this writing in March 04, PARADIGM is still in storage and not re-sited. I have placed its image on my business card and other portfolio PR materials, and the home page of my web site, so this has continued to carry Expo 88 around the world since then. I am sure it has been helpful in the development of my career as a world sculptor, but what I want most is for PARADIGM to be reinstalled in a public place. The design of PARADIGM refers to the DNA molecular structure, indicating our shared humanity. Its tall, "endless columnar" structure, inspired by aspects of nature, references the "axis mundi" or axis around which the world turns--the center of the world. When it had the 66 computer sequenced airplane landing lights installed inside it on Site, it symbolized the new world PARADIGM of universal, electronic, instantaneous communication.
Photo by Graham John
A skyward view of Paradigm, with one of the Expo's Paradigm can be seen here in the middle of the image, located
popular tropical fish blimps beside. beside the Canada Pavilion, and by the Expo's Brisbane River Photograph provided by the Artist foreshore. The City is in the background. Searchlights from inside the work shone out at night, giving the work an ethereal atmosphere.
The artist and Executive Director of Foundation Expo '88 are at present working with the Brisbane City Council to have PARADIGM re-sited in Brisbane.
to view "Morning Star II" in it's new location