Michael Candy explores the complexities of the space humans take hostage of. Visceral and affective, we take on the role of the bug mesmerised by bright rods of neon light navigating its way through the murky water that is the darkness it infiltrates.
Candy’s interests, and talents more so, lie in building together of robotic parts to create epic installations. This is what drew Michael Bugelli, director at Michael Bugelli Gallery, to Candy’s work, describing him as an artist at the frontier of art practice in Australia. “I was tempted by his playful ideas,” says Bugelli, who now represents the artist in Australia. “They can reveal much about the world and ourselves rather than trying to be sincere or direct”
Candy and Bugelli attained a friendship while attending the same school on Queensland’s Gold Coast, before either had started practicing as an artist or established a gallery. Bugelli says that Candy’s works are “seemingly ephemeral. I like the way it is persistently permanent at the same time.”
Candy is debuting his latest work, Cryptid, at the 2019 DARK MOFO Festival in Tasmania, where Bugelli’s gallery is also located. The long-term project explores the lineage of a previous light sculpture, Big Dipper.
Cryptid supports 2.4-meter fluorescent lamps that contain 18 active points of articulation and supports a range of six different gait types. The modest installation provides a peaceful presence that requires a vast indoor installation space (with ceilings upwards of three meters!).
Candy’s use of physical technologies to make a statement on modern society are as bold as they are simple and at times comical – which a deep dive on his YouTube channel reflects so evidently.
From the slow-moving, radiant and reserved Big Dipper light sculpture, to the pleasant yet intrusive Synthetic Pollenizer – an imitation robot that intervenes with real-world eco-systems – Candy aids us in surfacing plethora of emotions.
Image: Michael Candy, Cryptid, 2019. Courtesy: the artist.