Country Arts SA 25

A Fleeting Moment

MOMENT 13 • 2002

Ephemeral public art is, by its very nature, tenuous, often closely observing and interacting with the sensory aesthetics unique to the place it is in and provoking reflection on transience, decay and loss. It can be a performance, a sculptural installation, a ‘happening’. Whatever it is, you have to be in the right place at the right time to see it.

Drive along the dramatic limestone cliffs of Elliston, near the eastern corner of the Great Australian Bight, and you will still see a few permanent artworks, a legacy of the Meeting of the Winds Sculpture on the Cliffs project, but you had to be there in those first few weeks to see the majority of the 26 short-lived works.

Initially part of the events commemorating the bicentennial of the 1802 meeting of Matthew Flinders’ and Nicholas Baudin’s ships along the South Australian coastline, it raised dark and sensitive issues about early settlement for the Elliston community, and became a means to reflect and redress them*.

Encouraged to spend time getting to know the people, the place and the past, artists worked with the drama and beauty of the natural landscape to create artworks which aroused so much public interest that the 2002 event was repeated biennially until 2008.

Ephemeral art remains a vital part of our arts landscape and whilst you won’t find many remnants of past events still in the real world, video and photographs often record their place in the regional arts narrative while memories, relationships and changed attitudes linger.

Written and researched by Jo Pike for Country Arts SA


Common Ground

Whilst we work with all tiers of government, our most practical day to day relationship is with the tier that knows community most intimately. To plan events, install public art, or work with communities to shape and produce artwork, our relationship with local government comes into play. And for our part, we bring arts expertise that provides creative solutions to local issues and makes communities good places to live. It's a good partnership.

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