Scales of Production seeks to reanimate the ghosts of the old Hickson Road ‘finger wharves’ that, for more than one hundred years, lay at the heart of Sydney’s working harbour. At their peak, a production line of workers and heavy-lifting equipment loaded and unloaded cargo from vessels moored in the waters alongside these great city wharves.
Today, the shedlike structures of the finger wharves and the ceaseless lapping of waves provide remnant ghosts of the old city port.
Using contemporary fabrication techniques, Scales of Production employs a precise mechanical apparatus to harvest energy from the harbour waves; the wave energy powers shadow puppets that bring to life the choreographed activity of loading cranes. Visitors see the cranes moving in silhouette along the sides of the finger wharf.
The images created by the light sculpture once again connect the wharves and the waves with the activity of Sydney’s once-bustling working harbour.