Cherry Blossom first appeared as an ice sculpture with spinning cogs in the 2008 Russian Ice Cup. After winning the Mayor’s prize its creator, Melbourne-based artist Benjamin Gilbert, constructed a stainless steel version for Bondi’s “Sculpture by the Sea” exhibition.
Australian Stainless Steel Development Association member, Atlas Specialty Metals, sponsored the project, providing 316 stainless to suit the coastal environment. Benjamin Gilbert specified stainless steel for its neutral colour, polishing the surface with stainless wire brushes to allow salts to build up.
According to Benjamin Gilbert, shiny stainless finishes are not good and a patina is more realistic and neutralises visual effects from its surroundings. The panels were both TIG and MIG welded, pickled and polished to achieve a buffed silver leaf effect. The work is a combination of Harold Holt mystery and my work with Greenpeace and the Wilderness Society.
Cherry Blossom is showing at Canberra’s Corinbank Arts Festival will travel to Europe for Denmark’s version of “Sculpture by the Sea” in May.