Quicksilver Sentinels

Susan Jacobs

19 May-31 Oct, 2016
Hero Building Billboard
118 Russell Street

Quicksilver Sentinels is the first in a series of commissions for the Hero Building, initiated by Platform Art Spaces.

Jacobs' work taps into notions of the hero image and sympathetic magic. From the imitative and protective behaviours of the mules, comes the idea of sympathetic magic, where things that have once been in physical contact, continue to influence each other from a distance. Jacobs captured the image in the small ghost town of Terlingua, south west of Marfa, Texas, during a research trip to Land Art sites of the 1960s and 70s. In a chance encounter she observed the two mules standing apart like a pair or sentinels guarding the entrance to a ranch before watching them gradually merge together. As a former mining district, Terlingua had once produced cinnabar, a red-toned mineral ore from which the element mercury is extracted. A relief sculpture on the facade of the Hero Building depicts the Roman god Mercury, who holds a caduceus comprised of two serpents intertwined around a winged staff, also commonly used as the symbol for the elemental metal mercury.

In heightening a recognition of chance encounters, Quicksilver Sentinels points to the unknown possibilities that may be realised through the power of observation, making us more perceptive to moments of connectedness in the world and within our lives.

Curated by Angela Brophy

For further information contact info@platform.org.au

Supported by the City of Melbourne through the Arts Grants Program

Image: Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne


SUSAN JACOBS completed a Bachelor of Visual Art at the University of Newcastle in 1997 and a Graduate Diploma of Visual Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999. She currently teaches at Monash University Faculty of Art and Design and at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. She was a Gertrude studio resident from 2011–13, an Artspace Sydney resident in 2013, and a resident at the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire in 2014. She has held numerous solo and group exhibitions over the past fifteen years and recently has presented major commissioned works at the Adelaide Biennial of Australia Art (2012), the Asia Pacific Triennial at QAG/GOMA (2012–13), and in Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria (2013–14). Her work is held in the Monash University Art Collection, University of Queensland Art Collection, VCA Art Collection, MLC Art Collection, Poster Collection of Museum fur Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland and numerous private collections.

In September 2016 Jacobs will present a new commissioned work for Incerteza viva [Live Uncertainty], the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, curated by Jochen Volz.

Susan Jacobs is represented by Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne


To coincide with the launch of the Platform Hero Billboard Susan Jacobs' Quicksilver Sentinels will be available as a limited edition print from Sarah Scout Presents.

For details contact info@sarahscoutpresents.com