Hessian Sandbags, Sand and Community Spirit.
Heights: 3.5, 4, 4.5m / 11.4 x 13.1 x 14.7ft
Edinbrugh International Art Festival.
Portobello Beach, Edinbrugh, Scotland.
Designed to be a portrait and product of collective action, Wonder saw the installation of three large-scale pyramids created from 15,000 sandbags, which had been filled by the community of Portobello Beach, Edinburgh, on the invitation of the artist, who sent a seaside postcard to every Portobello household.
Serving as children’s climbing frames by day, and platforms for stargazing at night, the pyramids’ completion was planned to coincide with the summer solstice and be accompanied by a series of events organised by The Royal Observatory of Edinbrugh, who had just proved that the astronomer Carl Sagan’s famous claim “that there are more stars in the Universe than grains of sand on all the beaches of planet Earth”, was in fact an underestimation to a factor of ten.
Architectural in scale and stretching upwards towards the heavens Wonder invites us to reflect upon the unknowable and incomprehensible scale of the universe.
While the representational nature of objects, the hessian sandbag, most frequently deployed for use in conflict or natural disaster, is symbolic of the troubled state of the world.
Robb’s ambition for the project was to invite the viewer, or participant, to reflect upon the trajectory of our terrestrial and celestial evolution within the context of our shared relationship on earth and with the infinite, and to provide a hopeful vision of life in a post-capitalist society based upon collective action and community, both local and global.