Artist: Skunk Control
Date Installed
Installed 2017
Ultimo Library, Level 1, Ultimo Community Centre 40 William Henry Street
Artist website

Ultimo Community Centre, 40 William Henry St, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia

Artwork Description

Light can be affected depending on the type of material it passes through. We have used complex materials, in this case birefringent materials (these make up the flowers), to affect light and colour to create the magical world in Portal.

– Skunk Control

Portal creates an ecosystem of translucent flowers that are in constant colour change. The kinetic sculpture makes use of light and colour created by light altering materials to provide a portal into another magical world.

The artwork comprises a large flower with an inner kinetic chamber at its centre. Inspired by dragonfly wings, the petals of the main flower use a specialised film that changes colour depending on where it is viewed from. The inner chamber contains an ecosystem made up of smaller translucent flowers that alter light as it attempts to pass through them from the light source behind.

The chambers viewing window at the front gently rotates. As it does, the coloured inner flower ecosystem constantly changes colour. This front window acts like a viewing portal into a magical world.

The installation encourages storytelling and creative exploration of light, ideas and imagination.


Skunk Control is an interdisciplinary team of artists, engineers and scientists creating sensory installations. The group collective from the college of Engineering and Science at Victoria University formed in 2012.

Their installations have been exhibited at the LUMINA Light Festival in Portugal, LUX Light Festival in New Zealand, Lorne Biennale, and Melbourne Museum, as well as numerous Melbourne Festivals and exhibitions.


Library temporary works

This temporary work at Ultimo Library was commissioned by the City of Sydney Library.

Community Mapping, a temporary installation at Newtown Library has also been commissioned by City of Sydney Library.

Get arts and culture updates from City of Sydney News.

Sign up