Dual Nature, Nigel Helyer, (1999), The Council for The City of Sydney
Remedial conservation work on Nigel Helyer’s six-component sculpture Dual Nature (1999) preceded a formal condition assessment, also conducted by O’Sullivan Conservation. The sculpture is constructed of a combination of mild and stainless steel, and also incorporates two solar panels powering audio systems. The sculpture sits both in and out of the water, and the mild steel components were designed to corrode and those in the water to attract marine growth. Along with the assessed condition of the artwork, the variety of components and the artist’s intent informed the treatment scope and the development of the resulting conservation plan.
Remedial conservation works included:
- Putting control measures in place for working near open water
- The removal of bricks, stones, and other debris from the top of ‘Spinner’, one of the two marine components. This process allowed the visual assessment of the condition of the metal at the top of the sculptural element.
- The covering of the exposed conduit cable running between two of the terrestrial components, ‘Cone’ and ‘Acorn’. The conduit trench was shallow and presented a trip hazard as well as exposing the conduit to the elements, thus this work served the interests of public safety as well as site maintenance.
After consultation both with the artist and the City of Sydney, recommendations for future conservation and technical works were provided by O’Sullivan Conservation.
The artwork sits on the foreshore of Woolloomooloo Bay, beside Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool and is intended to meld with the environment, The City of Sydney’s website https://www.cityartsydney.com.au/artwork/dual-nature/ provides detailed information about the artwork and the artists’ intent for the piece.