Urchin installation hand-crocheted for Festival 2018

Surfers Paradise is set to be inhabited by two radically upscaled hand crocheted sea urchins suspended in Appel Park as part of Festival 2018, the arts and culture program of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games running from Wednesday 4 April to Sunday 15 April.

Embodying the spiny sea creatures of the deep, the giant artwork commissioned by City of Gold Coast is designed by internationally acclaimed artists Choi+Shine Architects and curated by Gold Coast arts organisation SWELL.

Appearing as if they are floating, each of the giant 3 metre high by 5 metre wide shell-like structures are made from delicate hand-crocheted material which has been intricately created by a community of crocheters from the Gold Coast, Brisbane and around Australia.

SWELL co-directors Natasha Edwards and Ruth Della curated the 12-month project, engaging the skill of 60 volunteer crocheters to bring Choi+Shine’s vision to life.

“This was a very special part of the project, engaging these wonderful people to crochet individual components and motifs of the urchins and contribute a piece of themselves to such a major project,” said Ms Della.

“This project has touch-points all over Australia and the world.”

International artists Jin Choi and Thomas Shine carefully created the Urchins, specifically for the Games and designed each motif on the Urchins to fittingly reflect and represent Australia and the Gold Coast’s land and seascape as well as elements of the Games.

The crochet pattern has been designed by Jin Choi and is made up of many small motifs which were then assigned to each crochet volunteer to recreate, using three millimetre marine-grade rope and a humble crochet hook.

After sending detailed instructions and custom designed patterns to the volunteers, Choi+Shine Architects set up a Facebook group to connect volunteers with each other, to assist and monitor everyone’s work and to share their tips and tricks with one another.

“It was impressive to see how volunteers who have never met each other formed an instant bond while sharing the same goal of creating something beautiful together. The encouragement, support and compliments that they offer to each other has been really touching,” Jin Choi said.

“It’s admirable that each volunteer embraced the rope as a new medium, and though it has been challenging particularly on their hands they have all persevered and worked together to each create stunning individual elements,” Ms Della said.

“The Urchins are truly remarkable – it is both strong and delicate and is reflective of the intricate design process where the combination of maths and science creates stunning art.”

The Urchins will be attached to an armature and suspended 1.5 metres off the ground, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the artwork to admire the hand-crafted details. Designed to reflect light with LED lighting and interact with natural light and wind, the Urchins will offer an unforgettable visual experience for visitors during both day and night throughout Festival 2018.

For more information visit gc2018.com/festival2018

IMAGE (c) Choi Shine Architects


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