With a love of large-scale industrial sculpture in the public domain, Ran Stanton likes to challenge the preconceptions of urban life, making the viewer question what something is, how and why it is working, who he is, how the hell he did it and when will he do it again? Previous work includes installations in public space, festivals and underground art exhibitions, including Sculpture by the Sea, HIDDEN: A Rookwood Sculpture Walk, Sydney Festival, Sydney Fringe, Q Station, The Fire Garden, Harvest Festival, The Big Day Out and Rockdale Outdoor Art Prize. As the co-director of Tortuga Studios, he is well placed in the Australian installation arts scene.
With the scientific romance of Jules Verne and the retro-futuristic invention of H G Wells, CHARGED is the envisionment of a future need for a society with a lost past. Harnessing a mutated form of wind energy a giant propeller spins, channeling kinetic motion through a series of wooden cogs that rumble and churn, sparking life into the magnetic field of an alternator, which in turn feeds the battery bank and brings to life the charging station, a phalanx of USB mouths ready to charge your device.
Designed in collaboration with Dillon MacEwan, The Flamethrower was created for Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line, but has since taken on an improbable life of its own. Described as a gas wand in contentious paperwork, The Flamethrower offers up fiery defiance in the face of OH+S.
Commissioned by the BBC for the Stargazing series, Firenado is just that, a tornado of fire driven by a vacuum. It is magical, and has been appreciated by crowds of people ever since its inception.
The Southern Cross
Designed, fabricated and installed in collaboration with Edward Horne, The Southern Cross was commissioned for Harvest Festival as a large-scale pseudo interactive crowdpleaser. Powered by solar blades, a giant windmill churned above the mosh pit, accompanied by fire elements courtesy of Dillon MacEwan.
From the Boneyard
The Flying Fish is a large-scale industrial fire sculpture, made from an aging DC3 plane cockpit rescued from Bankstown airport, a stainless steel skeletal shape that references a fish, and the ephemeral beauty of rolling fire – scales if you like. Ran is proud to keep the old girl flying, albeit without wings, and bathed in flame as it skits along the backbone of the fish, casting a shadow of the plane’s former self on the ground. “She is a part of us; she represents how we feel when we are pulled apart and moved on, when the developers cash in leaving ‘rubble’ in their wake”.
With the premise that everything can have an alter ego, a rusting Kombie was sealed, waterproofed and filled with over eight tonnes of water, before being inhabited by two scuba divers and a mermaid and being driven by a man in a mask underwater. It was a magnificent statement on the degradation of everyday objects, alternative use and the Kombie’s unrivalled position as a beach-dwelling sea-lover.
The backseat of an early 70s Valiant awaits, carved free of its integral shape, vinyl sticky with anticipation. Inviting people to climb in and immerse themselves in the roadtrip, this project incorporated footage of the Nullabor streaking into the distance, a projection with horizon, and the quintessential cult gonzo radio rant as your soundscape, What’s Rangoon to You is Grafton to Me, a psychedelic road journey by Russell Guy.
The Coyote Gets His Own Back
This piece was a humorous take on the classic Road Runner cartoons of Ran’s youth. The Road Runner’s nemesis, Wily Coyote, seems always destined to fail. Here it is inferred that the underdog can triumph, with a little help from the ACME company.
A giant 5m screwdriver swings on a chain, just begging you to turn the screw at your feet. Inspired by a love of big things, an ever-increasing workload and forever losing one’s tools.
Nail Gun Shooting Gallery
Inspired by a scene in Lethal Weapon this carpenter’s nail gun has a cedar butt, stock and 28″ barrel. It comes with a gallery of self-righting tin ducks and all the tings, dings and dodgy things reminiscent of every fairground attraction.
Proving all the laws of kinetic physics and trusting that the artist is OH+S compliant, the Anvil Swing comes into its own as a 66lb block of blue-hardened metal hurtles towards your face… or, if you’re Todd Sampson and your life is on the Line make that a 1-ton wrecking ball.