Iluka Resources, through their interior designer, Blake Thornton Smith (now Geyer Design), commissioned a series of works for their new three level fitout in the AMP building. Being an older tower much of the load bearing structure is on the perimeter of the building. As a result the wall spaces are quite fractured and only suitable for hanging smaller works.
In collaboration with Steve McDonnell of BTS, Robert worked up a grid system to resolve the varying display scales and unify artworks throughout the fitout. Ten large photomontages were created based on a 300 x 600mm tile. These works were comprised of as many as a dozen tiles and as few as two. When broken into the final tiles they were hung singly or in groups of up to ten depending on available space.
The works were free hung so that Iluka employees could, if they need a change of scene, simply swap a tile or two with another workspace.
The works are simple when seen as single tiles – some are just colour fields. Parts of one tile inevitably overlap into others creating a jigsaw that can only be resolved by continuous observation and movement around the tenancy.
Iluka is a relatively new company but has a rich history in two much older Western Australian sand mining outfits. Base imagery and text for the project was drawn from a significant archive that had mercifully been unedited. Magnified textures of printed materials and film grain from slides and prints played on the idea of sand that is central to Iluka’s business.