Simon MacEwan — The World’s Fair


Simon MacEwan, The works of industry of all nations, 2011, steel, wood, perspex, foam, wood veneer, lichen, model grass, ping pong ball, glass dome, 160 x 40 x 40cm

Simon MacEwan, The works of industry of all nations, 2011, steel, wood, perspex, foam, wood veneer, lichen, model grass, ping pong ball, glass dome, 160 x 40 x 40cm

In the hands of Simon MacEwan the fantastical wonderland of the fair, unmoored from the constraints of reality, drifts like a lost balloon into strange territory. The World’s Fair imagines a strange afterlife for the vast spaces that housed international exposition halls during the 19th and 20th centuries. Ghosts of buildings are inhabited by people who could never have met in the real world and inventions grow and evolve in ways that their creators never might have imagined. A small Indian elephant carved from graphite, one of the very few items that survived a fire that destroyed Sydney’s Garden Palace in 1882, morphs into a giant beast standing tall amongst ancient ruins and fairy lights.