Artists: Olivia Deskoski and Amara Clarke
Collaborators: Robert A Smith, Len Cram, Jenni Brammall
OPALessence (play.with.colour) is inspired by the colours and patterns of Australia’s national gemstone, the beautiful and mysterious opal.
A dynamic light sequence projects onto a historic sandstone surface showcasing the gemstone’s vivid play-of-colour in spectacular patterns known as Chinese Writing, Broad Flash, Flagstone, Harlequin, Ribbon and Flower Garden, among others. This phenomenon is especially seen in the rare black opal of Lightning Ridge, NSW, which is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful and precious opalised fossils.
Opal features prominently in ancient mythology. The gemstone was a good luck token for the ancient Romans; ancient Greeks believed opals to be the ‘tears of Zeus’ and the giver of power and prophecy; and Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime legends associate opal with the Creator, the gift of fire and the capture of rainbows.