By artists Indigo Hanlee, Michael Thomas Hill and Lightwell, High Water is a permanent public artwork at the Green Square Plaza in Sydney.
Installed in 2018, the artwork is a 9-metre two-sided blade with high resolution LED screens which graphically interprets local weather patterns and tidal information using integrated sensors and live data feeds.
See the archive at www.highwater.sydney.
High Water's program is created using a mixed style of hand-created watercolours and generative art – computer produced patterns designed by our team that constantly transforms in relation to linked live data.
For the sky, temperature changes the display of colours, humidity affects the size of the blooms, wind direction is represented by the movement and velocity of the animation as it tracks across the screen, and rainfall becomes water droplets that run down the screen. The sea level is shown slowly rising and falling from low tide to high tide, with its colour also reflecting the temperature throughout the year.
Our data comes from WillyWeather, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and local weather sensors installed at Green Square Plaza.
Once an hour the artwork sends its visual data to the online archive www.highwater.sydney. This archive allows visitors to understand the data, colours and patterns in real time and see visual summaries of local environmental conditions over the day, week and year.
High Water turns what is accessible, but often intangible data into moving watercolours. It creates a visual language for our environment, painting a long-term picture of the environmental changes in Green Square.
High Water has been commissioned by the City of Sydney. Special thanks to Jisuk Han, Big Screen Projects and Event Engineering for all their great work.