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Transpiration I

Taking inspiration from the parallels between the complex organic structures of the tree and the neural network, Transpiration I explores the cognitive process, from sensory perception, through process and, finally, to expression. The title itself points to the process by which water is transported through the tree, from root, through the trunk and is ultimately transpired through the leaves. But, at the root of the word is the term: “transpire”, which alludes to the ways in which things come to be known. 


Bridging the expansive, vertical volumes of Rosebank Towers' three main atriums, the sculpture echoes the organisational structure of the building. Each atrium has an individual spacial characteristic, from ground to upper-most atrium, the building experiences shifts in vertical spacial composition ranging from suspension, to tension and finally to compression.  Each sculptural component works in conversation with it's environment, exaggerating the open space in relationship to the structures that define it. 


Suspended in the main reception, hang the roots, functioning as receptors, their individual branches carry words related to sensory perception. Characteristic of the reception space, as a point of initial contact, information is collected and transmitted upward through the core of the organisation, it represents the primary stage of cognition. The suspension of the roots, and their consequent reaching into the open clefts of the separate floors, lends the verticality of the space, and indeed the entire building above, a sense of reach. 


At the heart of the building, stretching up several levels, is the stem of Transpiration I which spans from floor to ceiling, defining the depth of the void by it's presence. The trunk's connection of the floor and ceiling creates tension,  it is not a structural architectural element, but instead represents an independent somewhat organic presence expanding through the space.  Emerging from the seams of the splitting outer husk, are lines of text that speak to the process of organising random stimuli into streams of coherent information. The text is often overlaid and merges into abstraction, alluding to the simultaneity and speed with which impressionistic information becomes intelligible. 


Piercing through the floor of the upper atrium, and unfolding upward into the sky, is the canopy, its fronds and branches, defined by the lexicon of human emotion in various stages of becoming. The canopy's conceptual foundation is drawn from the four-branch model of emotion, which divides the spectrum of human emotion into the umbrella categories of happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. Each arm of the canopy sprouts the varying subtleties of emotion related to it, and talks to the final phase of cognition- expression. The monolithic solidity of the trunk suddenly breaks as it spreads into branches that reach outward and upward, in a motion of liberation. Similar to the way that the suspension of the roots in the lower atrium accent the height of the vertical space, the compression of space in relation to the reach of the canopy accentuates the volume of its surroundings. 

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