Jane and Mario Downes

Stop the Clock, 2015

Galvanized and mild steel, stub axle bearings

“This installation, consisting of 3 giant kinetic dandelion seed heads seen at different moments in time, is set on an exposed headland enabling it to respond to the wind. The seed heads are a celebration of heart and mind inspired by childhood memories of wishing on dandelion clocks to tell the time. The work combines the imagery of a common weed with scrap industrial materials to question society’s preconceived ideas of what is valuable or lowly, permanence and the ephemeral and nature vs man-made. They are also an exploration of form and scale, seeking the point where nature meets with engineering and playing with architectural and domestic scales. The possibilities when welding steel components are exploited to construct the structural yet delicate forms, engineering them so that the strength is in their external surface.”

Jane and Mario Downes

After an early career in cartography and draughting, Jane completed a Bachelor in Design majoring in Sculpture.

She then moved into spatial/interior design and began developing her sculpture practice. She mainly uses industrial and recycled materials and exhibits and undertakes commissions throughout New Zealand. Mario has experience in a huge range of endeavours from working in the construction industry to hospitality and events, but lately has focussed his engineering and welding skills on sculpture construction and installation. Jane and Mario work from their home workshop in Little River on Banks Peninsula, Canterbury.