The work will sit on the rocks on the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, as part of the world’s largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, which runs from October 18 to November 4.
“Thanks to the support of the Transfield Invited Artist Program, I am pleased to be able to present my work Cairns (Marker #1-2-3) at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2018,” Rossi said.
“Cairns are human-made stacks of stones that have been raised by many cultures since prehistoric times.
“In my youth in Italy, I often admired cairns when crossing riverbeds and I was struck by how unassumingly simple and unprecious they were.
“Here in Australia, I would like to raise my own cairn – a marker that in its abstraction and simplification of form contains the light and colours of the landscape in which it is placed, exposing the hidden and the imaginary.”
Cairns (Marker #1-2-3) includes three replicas of the man-made stone structures, which have been constructed in natural landscapes for millennia as markers of a pathway and a signal for rebirth.
These cairns are not made from stone, however, but are constructed using steel, glass mirror and acrylic.
They shine vivaciously with the colours red, green and blue, which Rossi said she found in abundance in the natural landscape.
“I wanted to include a transparency in the colour of the work, so that you can see the surrounding landscape in which it is placed,” she said.
“I like creating works which belong and react to their surroundings.
“Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I immigrated to Australia from Italy twenty years ago.
“In the same way as the work, we react to the place in which we live.”
Rossi was born in Friuli in northern Italy in 1968, but spent most of her formative years in Venice, in the company of a vibrant international artistic community.
Following study at SACI in Florence and the Pratt Institute in Venice in 1989, she graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in the USA in 1991 with a BA in Fine Arts.
She returned to Venice in 1992 and began her career as an artist in the city’s abandoned palazzos, doing site-specific installations drawing on the textures of the multi-layered Venetian architecture.
Rossi moved to Perth in 1997, when she was invited to work on paintings and sculpture for the 1998 Festival of Perth, including an extended residence at Claremont School of Art.
She has an extensive career behind her in site-specific installation, including exhibiting five times at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe.
This is the fifth time Rossi will exhibit at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.
Her current work recalls her 2016 addition to the Bondi scene, Untitled (coral), which depicted a figurative girl standing upon the shoreline, but which recalled the phenomenon of coral bleaching as an adverse effect of climate change.
Both works demonstrate an affinity with surrounding nature that is represented through colour and visual transparency.
Her current work, however, is not figurative, but geometric and abstract in nature.
The cairns sit like jewels above the ocean.
Although her current work is concerned with personal journey, Rossi emphasised that she still takes the time to address environmental issues.
Some of her prints and paintings dealing with the subject will be on display at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, in Perth, from October 19, alongside the work of other local, multidisciplinary artists.
One work Rossi looks forward to seeing at Bondi is Karda – Megalania, a massive woven-grass installation by WA team Elaine Clocherty and Sharyn Egan.
Egan is a Wadjuk Nyoongar woman from Perth.
The work looks at extinction and major climatic changes of the planet whilst questioning the consequences of our actions.
Rossi said that the works which most appeal to her are those which respond to place.
“There is a greater connection to the land if you actually create something within it,” she said.