Soaring Dragon

LNY 2024 - Soaring Dragon.jpg

Prepare to be captivated by the shimmering splendour of Soaring Dragon - a spectacular metallic art installation that breathes life out of The Concourse reflection pool with it's majestic presence. Nestled within Chatswood library, this larger-than-life sculpture is not merely an art piece but a guardian of peace and power, offering a perfect backdrop for enchanting photos and selfies.

The Soaring Dragon

Dragons in the Chinese horoscope are traditionally associated with divinity, power and the ability to control weather. Often seen on the robes of emperors, many depictions show them soaring into the sky or emerging from the sea. Whilst connected with tempests, they also bring peace and are benign deities. Unlike Western fire breathing dragons, they also do not have wings. While depictions display a varying number of claws, ‘real’ dragons should have five claws on each limb. Dragons with four claws are deemed as ‘serpents’. The colours of gold and silver are associated with the dragon.

The artists, mcdermottbaxter, aim to convey both the lightness and dynamism of the Soaring Dragon.  For the design inspiration, they adapted the dragon motif seen commonly on Qing dynasty vases. The final dragon is made of gold anodised aluminium perforated to convey the texture of the scales of the dragon and allow light to come through. The dragon is lit from within conveying a sense of movement.

Placed above the reflection pool, the Soaring Dragon connects water and sky in accordance with traditional depictions. The dynamic shape activates the pool and glass with reflections enhancing the overall visual effect.

About the artists

Mcdermottbaxter is a collaboration between Dr Ruth McDermott and Ben Baxter. Dr Ruth McDermott is a light artist and academic who recently completed an arts residency in Isafjordur in Iceland. Ben Baxter is an illumination designer with experience in lighting outdoor precincts. The work of mcdermottbaxter looks to create a coherent narrative with the aim of creating a rich experience for the viewer through materials, form and lighting. The practice has created large art projects for councils, festivals, architects, retailers and property developers in both interior and exterior environments creating both permanent and temporary public art pieces.

The work of mcdermottbaxter was published in the 2015 Thames & Hudson book Superlux: Smart Light Art, Design & Architecture for Cities.   Their book Between Dark & Light on their thirteen years of installation art practice was published by the University of Technology, Sydney ePress in August 2022.


  • Thursday, 01 February 2024 | 09:00 AM - Sunday, 25 February 2024 | 10:00 PM


The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, 2067, View Map

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