Launched at the 2021 international exhibition Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe in Western Australia, the extended reality sculpture Native Tongue XR is a 3m/10ft high totemic figure carved from the heartwood of a single giant kauri from an ancient forest buried in Aotearoa NZ at the end of the last Ice Age. Beside the Indian Ocean, the sculpture is projected via mobile phone or tablet into real time and 3D space where it can be encircled and explored at full scale revealing the heartwood of this majestic tree, surrounded by native NZ birdsong. Shaped as a pronoun 'I' and number One, and experienced in alternative reality, Native Tongue XR is an alter-ego, the 'other I'. Like a spirit figure, it speaks of the past and sends a text message to future.
Sculpture by the Sea's first ever extended reality sculpture, Native Tongue XR is presented on the coastal walkway near Perth, alongside works by artists from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Czechia, Slovakia, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The biennale exhibition attracts over 200,000 visitors.