Margaret Roberts, When Circumferences become Diameters 2021. Polystyrene and location. Glassroom Projects, National Art School Building 28, Sydney.

I set out to use the reflections and spatial ambiguity of the Glassroom to replicate the century-old red pillar that has accompanied the Glassroom since it was first built several years ago, and will probably remain after it disappears in the reconstructions planned for the building. But the ambiguity spread, turning circumferences into diameters, producing a monumental replication instead—a likeness vertically, but exaggerated horizontally.

This happened because I provided measurements as circumferences, not realising that circumference measurements have no place in the polystyrene-cutting industry, and would be automatically read as diameters. I also didnt read the quote properly, not considering that the measurements would be misread.

So unbeknownst I set myself up to fail, and I accidently made a work that is like the first project I set first year Drawing students, which is to take risks with a system prone to accident, and see what happens.

As well as telling the story of what happened, the title also happens to sound like When Attitudes become Form, the exhibition from 1970s that I saw remade in Venice several years ago. I am still working out why I did that as well.

Photo: the artist


Photo: John Stanfield