Residents ‘Down Under’ got a glimpse of artwork from eastern North Carolina, thanks to the efforts of an East Carolina University sculptor.
Carl Billingsley, professor of sculpture in East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, had his work featured in Australia twice this school year.
Originally, Billingsley’s proposal for an art installation titled “Red Center” was originally chosen for “Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi” last fall. His participation in the show last fall lead to an invitation to another outdoor show, in a different city.
He was offered an opportunity through the Andrea Stetton Memorial Invitation to have his piece included at Cottesloe Beach in Australia in March. The installation took Billingsley one day to install at Cottesloe Beach, with help from 12 volunteers.
“I like to have my pieces in public rather than in a museum. I think more people have an opportunity to see the work,” said Billingsley. “It’s kind of a big event where people are very aware of it and look forward to it and they go out for it.”
“Red Center” is an installation of red and yellow construction flags. He chose Australia as inspiration for the installation, and a well-known Australian landmark as inspiration for the name. “At the very center of the continent, is this vast stone, which the aborigines call Uluru and colonists call Ayers Rock or Red Stone,” said Billingsley.
Billingsley decided to enter an installation instead of the traditional form of sculpture. “This is a relatively new endeavor for me, as a professor of sculpture. I’ve always focused a lot of my attention on very traditional materials.”
Both shows have had more than 500,000 people in attendance.