Staged in the wunderkammer that is the AA library, this year we thought the best way to represent the unit was in a group shot. The resulting Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair-style portrait on pp 88–89, taken by Liam Young from Dip 6 with an enthusiasm that exposed his own Blow-Up fantasies, shows the unexpected zoomorphic and ecclesiastical trend in the unit work at Colònia Güell, as much as identifying the people behind the projects. Niki and Samo are the two in the right-hand corner.
He’s gazing at his laser-cut plaster casts and she’s clinging to the delicate frame of one of her six Babylonian gardens. Kirk and Rula are in the window. His black-and-white sea urchins are to the left of Niki’s head and his ‘stations of the cross’ plan of them hangs on the screen just above him. Rula’s ‘dangling fluorescent socks’ and ceramic swatches are right smack behind Winnie (the woman in white) whose jewel-like laser-cut ‘leaves’ just in front of her formed the basis for the vertical cloister that you can almost see in the bookshelf behind her. (Flip back a page and you’ll see Rula’s magnificent model.) Venezuelan and Australian dynamos, Arabella and Mond, are in the middle back.
He’s holding his and Wesley’s sliced fish and she’s sitting just below one of her icebergs. Anna (the girl in the foreground without the pearl earring) is desperately trying to admire one of her menagerie of arthropods and diagonally to the rear Ja is sandwiched between iterations of her fluttering Technicolor planet-arium. The work of the troika on the left-hand edge – Wesley, Eleanor and Charlotte – is spread out across the tables. In particular, Charlotte’s porcelain carillon – likened by others to a legendary Pokémon wing – is behind her, caged in the Perspex frame and featured opposite. And, as if it needed explaining, we’re the two old guys on either side of the sassy young Australian Lucy, who’s gesturing with one hand and holding her impressive plan in the other.