The Drovers, Expo '88 in posterity
If you're like me, you'll have fond memories of Brisbane's expo '88. I have one particularly precious pictures of me with a blunt fringe and fluffy jumper sitting next to a life size white statue of a man reading his newspaper. I was fascinated by those statues. They were so life like and I was just waiting for them to wave hello.
Well more than 25 years later, some of those statues still pepper the Brisbane street scape. My particular favorite is The Drovers, by John Underwood, now occupying the footpath of 80 Ann St.
The pieces were originally made to last just for the period of the exhibition (just like the Eiffel Tower). In 2008, the original sculptures were recast into aluminium to extend their life.
And this is where 3D scanning comes in. With less than an hour onsite, we were able to take complete scans of all five figures, the central fire and the complete floor plan. I now have a complete digital record of the artworks, accurate to within half a millimeter. It's even possible to see the pattern in the tiles.
It's now possible for anyone, anywhere, to experience the artwork in 3D as you can see in the Sketchfab viewer below. Should anything happen to the artworks, an exact replica can now be manufactured with direct digital manfacturing methods. It's hard to get more future proof than that.
The plaque displayed alongside this work reads:
"The Drovers" by John Underwood, 2005
"One of the greatest successes of World Expo 88’s street scapes was a series of compelling white sculptures called The Human Factor.
The figures featured in The Drovers are five of almost 80 used in the series which portrayed people in everyday situations, all frozen in time, capturing the essence of life in Australia.
Originally created in fibreglass, many of these sculptures were purchased at the end of Expo 88. The Drovers was purchased by the Department of Primary Industries and installed at this location in 1989.
In 2005, the Drovers was recreated in cast aluminium