Reigniting the connection between Fort Lane and the ocean through fragmentation and reflection.
Moments of Reflection invites those who inhabit Fort Lane to experience a remembering of the sites geographical history through the eyes of kaleidoscopes, where fragments of both past and present materiality of the Lane are fused together as one. Think back to your childhood, face pressed against a plastic tube as colours and shapes swirl in front of your vision and reflecting mirrors transport you to a disorientating realm. Kaleidoscopes challenge people’s perception of reality and encourage curiosity. These moments of discovery that exist in reflection are harnessed in this project through kaleidoscopes that allow those who inhabit Fort Lane to peer through the present and into the past. The eyes of the kaleidoscopes see a fragmentation of script relating to the ocean and snippets of installation inspired by the materiality of the ocean fused together with materiality of the current Lane. This project is activated by each individual, where thoughts relating to the ocean are provoked through the kaleidoscopes, in turn bringing a sense of the ocean back into Fort Lane.
This project recalls Fort Lane’s past connection to the sea. When I was introduced to land reclamation and how drastically it had shaped the Auckland waterfront over the past 150 years, I immediately became interested in how the Commercial Bay shoreline once existed along Fort Street – meaning Fort Lane once existed as a marriage between land and sea, a threshold space of what was and what is. This essence has been completely swallowed by the layers of concrete facade that envelop the city today, where little recognition for the past is present. I wanted to bring a sense of the ocean back into the site.
My very first site documentation involved a handmade kaleidoscopic device that produced fragmented images that saw aspects of the site collaged together that normally would not be together. The kaleidoscope offered a way of bringing fragments or memories of the sites history back into Fort Lane. My early conceptual work involved experimenting with different installation ideas that were influenced by the materiality of ocean; I explored volume, surface, light, and reflection. This manifested into an installation at each main entrance to Fort Lane, the first inspired by the volume of the ocean, and the second by the surface of the shore as the ocean laps against it. Hidden throughout the lane there are 6 unique words all engraved into concrete façade, they each have a strong connection with the ocean, for example ‘Marmoris’ which means the shining surface of the ocean.
At two locations in the lane, there are kaleidoscopic structures that each have six fixed views . The site has been framed through each view so that fragments of the installations are seen fused with the current site. These kaleidoscopic structures manifested into a lighthouse of sorts; bringing together a wide view of its surroundings, acting as a beacon to view both the ocean and the city. The strategic placement of lighthouses means they have the ideal vantage point for viewing all that surrounds them. Similarly, in my design, the kaleidoscopes act as vantage points in Fort Lane where humans have access to a collective view of both current site and history; they can see the connection between the land and ocean, just as lighthouses do. Moments of reflection requires humans to activate the kaleidoscopic views with their own personal memories surrounding their interpretation of the ocean in Fort Lane. The Lane will exist as a collection of memories and experiences surrounding the ocean that have been ignited through the eyes of the kaleidoscopes. I hope that the thoughts and feelings of the ocean arousing in the heads of those using the kaleidoscopes in Fort Lane becomes a collective effort of paying homage to the ocean that once existed there.