“What Lies Beneath” by Gabby O’Connor is an unexpected and original art installation. A place specific glowing iceberg entirely made of paper tissue and inspired of Antarctica’s iceberg forms.
“What Lies Beneath” was firstly installed at Wellington City Gallery (NZ) in 2011. The room had a skylight and the dimensions of the installation matched exactly the opening of the skylight. Fluorescent lamps were also used in combination to the natural light coming from the ceiling, to provide an even more “illuminating” effect.
The impressive aspect of this impressive iceberg art installation is that the entire artwork fits into one common suitcase! “What Lies Beneath” is made out of the most humble of materials: paper tissue, paint and staples. Gabby O’Connor uses shellac paint in Antartic-inspired blue and green hues to harden the Paper tissues. Then, she fixes them into place with staples, creating large crystalline forms.
What lies beneath the …”What Lies Beneath” glowing iceberg art installation is the common symbolism of the icebergs, related to the hidden truth behind the apparent. An iceberg reveals only its tip, while below the water surface an overwhelming mass is hidden from sight. Gabby O’Connor wishes to show what is hidden to the visitors, and manages to do so since 2011.
The installation has been also taken (or parts of it) to different expeditionary places in New Zealand (House of Waiwera) as well as in the UK (North Wall, Oxford). Even today, the iceberg art installation “What Lies Beneath” and “What Lies beneath II – the return” continue to reveal the hidden secrets of the iceberg. The artist imagines the icebergs to move carrying the lost researchers of the frozen continent, and gradually melting away until they are returned home.
Gabby O’Connor is an Australian artist and science lover. She is a graduate of the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne and Fine Arts College in Sydney. She has been working and living in New Zealand for the last 13 years.