Juan Ford

Custodians of the Interval

Park Road Boardwalk, Noosa Heads

Sat 24 June to Sun 30 July

Celebrated for his hyper-realistic paintings, Juan Ford takes what is typically the source material for his elaborate two-dimensional works and shifts it into a space that can be experienced in three dimensions.

Walking along the Park Road Boardwalk, the naturally treed space between the elevated platform and the sea opens to reveal a grouping of familiar yet discordant forms. A domestic scene emerges, sans walls and roof, with figures relaxing amongst their possessions. There’s something different, however, about this family, their furniture and mod cons. Covered in native leaves and flora, the idea of the natural (out there in nature), and the familiar, human and domestic, are collapsed into relative indistinction. Responding strongly to the idea of a space between human and natural constructs, these people have been both visually and conceptually subsumed by the native vegetation of their surrounds.

Ford’s installation prompts the dual idea that everything we do and are is natural, and so much of what we do and are is harming natural processes. More globally, we are inseparable from the environmental consequences of our actions, as all actions done to nature are done to ourselves.

Often the best writing about art is simple and easy to understand – something that’s not always synonymous with ‘art-speak’ and the language encountered in art galleries and exhibition reviews. Community Critics sees a range of people from different backgrounds write responses to Floating Land projects, describing and interpreting them through their own lens.

COMMUNITY CRITIC: Cr Amelia Lorentson (Councillor, Noosa Shire Council)

Juan Ford

Custodians of the Interval

On the land and waters of the traditional owners and custodians of this land, the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people, Juan’s Ford “Custodians of the Interval” delves into a deep conversation that explores the ‘space between human and natural constructs. Beings that inhabit the space.’

Striking and thought provoking, Juan’s unsettling life size sculpture of a man from the natural world, made of leaves and branches, challenges us to explore whether we are part of nature, or 'apart from nature'? Is possible for humans to coexist with nature without sacrificing our own needs and desires. And without exploitation of the natural world for profit.

Powerful and evocative, it also encourages the audience to reflect and think deeply about place and the responsibilities that come with that.

This ‘space' is fragile and easily damaged. So, are we – ‘the beings that inhabit this space’ – committed and doing enough to nurture and protect this space for future generations?

The work also embodies a hidden meaning that is the source of this difficult dialogue - that the environment is not independent and outside of ourselves; that person and environment are 'continuous' or the same; and that the fate of humanity and nature are intertwined.

Occupying a front row seat, with views of the pristine waters of Laguna Bay and under open skies, Juan invites us to sit with him on the boardwalk for sunset drinks and to delve deep into a conversation that connects us all and to enter a world of working towards caring for Country.

This project has been realised with the help of a number of artists and volunteers including:

Jane Anderson, Kate Avery, Maize Charles, Beatrice Prost, Helena Jackson-Lloyd, Rosie Lloyd-Giblett, Kim Croft, Sandy Neale, Anna Miles, Sam Jensen, Ruby Donohoe

Year 11 from Students Nambour State College

Niamh O’Connor, Manon Hinze, Avalon Ferguson, Jazmin Kong, Shayla Larkin, Lily Bell, Enny Eccles


Liz Clout and Craig Amos



Noosa Regional Gallery

Sun 25 June, 10am – 3pm

Join Juan Ford for a Masterclass at Noosa Regional Gallery on Sunday 25 June at 10.00am, focussed on capturing expressive monochromatic drawings of native flora using charcoal and ink.


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Van Badham / Banned Books / Jordyn Burnett / Behrouz Boochani and Arnold Zable / Brotherhood of the Wordless / Community Critics / Lyndon Davis, Leah Barclay and Tricia King / Fiona Foley / Juan Ford / Todd Fuller / Warwick Gow / Aunty Helena Gulash and James Muller / Kim Guthrie / Miriam Innes / Soda Jerk / Ketakii Jewson-Brown and Shaye Hardisty / Deborah Kelly / Kidsplained / Jaime Kiss / Kim Leutwyler / Louise Martin-Chew / Peter Rowe / Van T Rudd / Amy Sargeant / Ian Smith / Shelley Ware / Judy Watson / Megan Williams / Gosia Wlodarczak / Laura Woodward