Sauna is a custom designed, hand built, fully functional portable sauna which is powered by a 240v domestic power supply. The main body of the sauna was originally a storage packing crate. A hybrid and self sufficient art work that combines actual use and interaction with pragmatic intentions, design and art in one work. Sauna’s intentions are to use and utilize gallery spaces for broader ranging activities, experiences and responses. Sauna aims to transform exhibition venues into spaces where the viewer can, if desired, directly engage and physically participate in the work.

Sauna is constructed to have a double currency, functioning in daily life and within the art context. It is the first work executed in Australia exploring ideas of multi purpose art and relational aesthetics and interventions at the end of the 1990’s. One of the first in the series of Migratory Projects, looking at work which fuses ideas of use, pragmatics, travel, DIY design, circumvention, survival and self sufficiency.

The sauna was intended as a major recycling/upcycling project utilizing readily available and familiar materials -fusing ideas of metabolist architecture with 90’s anxieties. The work is altruistic in nature aiming to relax those who interact with it.

Sauna can seat two individuals, and is designed to be ergonomic and user friendly. It invests a disused object associated with the art world (a packing crate) with a totally new purpose and use. It offers the possibility of physical and mental relaxation. Additionally it offers intimate and private space within an exhibition, or any other site where the viewer/participant can relax, contemplate and unwind.

“ When I started the sauna, I remember being so frustrated by how physically tired I was from all the work I was doing to simply survive as an artist and how frustrated I was that I just could not afford to ever relax, I thought of how much health clubs cost…and the industry of all that I wanted to make this piece so that it could be understood in its materiality, seemingly easily made, transparent. I also did not want to consume any more materials or buy anything else.

I wanted something that could relax my friends and myself, something that played with the expectancy of art too – I wanted an art work that did not ‘behave’, something that utilised the exhibition context for something else. I wanted it to be able to travel and speak of its sustainability. Something restored and utilised from another life. It worked extremely well, people used it, I showed it and tested it in different sites and institutions in Australia and at home. It was designed as part of my Migratory system”.

Sauna can be transported on the trailer garden when the garden is pulled out and used in conjunction with the carrier vehicle as well as work as an independent piece on its own.

Materials: Plywood, Perspex, stainless steel, rubber, aluminium, copper, polystyrene, recycled pine, olive oil, acrylic, water, stones, polyurethane, jarrah, 240v Bahco heating system, fan, wooden tiles, nylon, cotton, grease, eucalyptus leaves, solar shower bags

Dimensions: H 2500mm / W 3000mm (unpacked) / D 1170mm