I met kinetic sculptor Rod Nash many years ago in the belly of an infamous artist warehouse in Turrella. He was sporting Gladi8tor, a pair of steel jaws powered by a petrol whipper snipper engine connected to a set of pulleys and belts that drive a crank that snaps the jaws shut. At full revs, Gladi8tor can pull off 700 chomps a minute; in 2004 at Mekanarky, this fearsome beast was sharing a meal with Pig Grinder, and the noise was deafening, to say nothing of the slew of chopped veg that sprayed the air.
inSIGHT asked Rod about Gladi8tor:
“Gladi8tor was born from an unfortunate incident when I was badly bashed by six cowards who were bashing a friend in Martin Place in the city. I intervened to try and stop it so they put me in hospital for two weeks with a broken jaw, bruised ribs and concussion. So this is very much a cathartic work, while it critiques other issues within society. The mechanism mounts on my shoulders and is harnessed to my body. During the performance, I mainly concentrate on where my fingers are as they would be bitten off if they went into the jaws…”Rod Nash
For EDGE GreenWay, Rod has turned his attention to the waterways of the world, and in homage to the multicultural nature of the global movement of ships, seafarers, travellers, migrants and those who have maritime connections, he has created over 100 tiny ships to remind us to think of the perils and the possibility of a life at sea.
“I entertain myself making obscure creations about aspects of the world and society in general, sort of like a form of journalism where I’m making a report on an observation. We’re only here for x amount of years and it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as your doing something and trying to give in some sort of way.”Rod Nash
In addition, he has a collection of his kinetic sculptures on display, and there is always a crowd waiting to have a turn. There is such delicacy in this sculptural work, alongside powerful kinetic strength. Rod explains that this ambiguity is considered, the multilayering of story with hard and soft elements an integral part of the creation process, providing a truer meaning to what the work considers.