There is the Flemish giant, and then there is Intrude: an army of white nylon rabbits by Australian artist Amanda Parer, invading one US city at a time. Intrude’s first leg is Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, the home of Time Inc’s office (we’re excited to be on the front lines.)
There will be seven rabbits on the Arts Brookfield-run tour– five which have already toured globally, and two new commissions. They’ll be in NYC 17th April– 30th April before hopping to Houston, Los Angeles and Denver.
‘They're large because I wanted to make them look like they were just making themselves at home,’ says Parer. Each colossus is in a unique pose– the two new XL commissions are 40x30 feet and 50x15 feet respectively.
Internal illumination lends the rabbits their nightlight glow. And while memories of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Margery Williams’ loved-to-life velveteen rabbit lend the work its innocence, there is also a stern ecological message at play. On Parer’s continent, rabbits are literally an intruder– pests which Australia has combated since they were introduced by 18th century European settlers.
‘People can put up a wall right away when you bring up these things,’ says Parer, of environmental commentary. Even with fluffy critters as an inroad, her message still hits close to home: ‘They're a metaphor for us.’
Parer's process begins with a composition that includes all of the rabbits working in concert. She then creates clay figures that are 3D scanned and sent to a team of artisans to be brought to life at true scale. Intrude is an installation of light, space and personality. It's no wonder Parer looks to Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor for inspiration.
Parer has another inflatable installation ongoing called Fantastic Planet inspired by the 1973 film of the same name. She will also exhibit at the inaugural Doha Festival in Qatar.
When asked if she has a favourite intruder, Parer– a mother– balks. ‘It's a little like asking which is my favourite child... they are a family.’