March 2021. Presented for the first time at Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe in Western Australia, the ancient kauri digital sculpture 'Native Tongue XR' speaks to the fast approaching future of interactive technology – bringing the private world of personal digital devices into a shared experience of public space. Visitors encircle and explore the 3m/10ft. high extended reality sculpture at full scale, and see the rich grain of the heartwood of this giant tree buried in Aotearoa NZ at the end of the last Ice Age. An ephemeral form shaped as the pronoun ‘I’ and numeral One, Native Tongue XR speaks of primacy, spirit figures, and other worlds. It is the alter-ego, an ‘other I’, encouraging human reflection on our connections with ancestors, country, community and environment.
The biennial sculpture exhibition near Perth attracts over 200,000 visitors, and in 2021 presents 70 new sculptures by artists from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Czechia, Slovakia, USA, Australia and NZ.