Lindy Lee: Ouroboros

Lindy Lee's Ouroboros is taking shape. Our team in Brisbane is working hard to realise Lindy's vision to create her first immersive public sculpture for the National Gallery of Australia's forecourt.

Lindy Lee: Ouroboros

The Ouroboros will become a beacon. Daytime or nighttime, it's going to pulse with light and energy.

Lindy Lee

Work is underway on Ouroboros, an immersive, public sculpture by Australian artist Lindy Lee to be installed in the National Gallery forecourt.

With a practice spanning more than four decades, Meanjin/Brisbane-born Lee uses her work to explore her Chinese ancestry through Taoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism — philosophies that see humanity and nature as inextricably linked.

Ouroboros is based on the ancient image of a snake eating its own tail; an image seen across cultures and millennia, the symbol of eternal return, of cycles of birth, death and renewal. Through its location at the entrance of the National Gallery, visitors will be able to enter the ‘mouth’ of the sculpture and walk into the curved space to experience the darkness that is illuminated by light beams emanating from the hundreds of perforations on its surface.

During the day, its highly polished mirrored surface will reflect the imagery of the floating world, the transience of passers-by, cars, birds in flight and passing clouds. At night the Ouroboros will be lit internally, returning its light to the world.

The sculpture is being fabricated at the Urban Art Projects (UAP) Foundry in Meanjin/Brisbane. It will measure around four metres high and weigh approximately 13 tonnes.

Ouroboros will also be a sustainable sculpture — incorporating recycled materials, maximising renewable energy and measures to minimise its carbon impact, making it one of Australia's first sustainable works of public art.

Lindy Lee’s Ouroboros was commissioned to celebrate the National Gallery’s 40th anniversary in 2022 and is due to be completed in 2024.

The making of Ouroboros at UAP's workshop in Brisbane, 2022. Images by Josef Ruckli.

The making of Ouroboros at UAP's workshop in Brisbane, 2022. Images by Josef Ruckli.

Ouroboros details at UAP's workshop in Brisbane, 2022. Images by Josef Ruckli.

Lindy Lee at UAP's workshop in Brisbane, 2022. Images by Josef Ruckli.

Lindy Lee at UAP's workshop in Brisbane, 2022. Images by Josef Ruckli.

Lindy Lee and the Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Nick Mitzevich at UAP's workshop in Brisbane, 2022. Images by Josef Ruckli.

Learn more about Lindy Lee's Ouroboros by visiting NGA's website now.

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