“The King Protea” is an interactive sculpture in rosewood, brass and zinc designed by Xavier Clarisse and commissioned for the Presidential suite of the new World Cup 2010 stadium in Durban, South Africa.
The King Protea is the national flower of South Africa and the emblem of some South African sports teams. A deeper symbolism is created through the floral motif as a sign for the blossoming of the country and its people. The mechanism created by Xavier Clarisse allows viewers to interact with the sculpture, moving it through the stages from birth to full life and back again. The opening and the closing the Protea also represents the iris of the human eye or the aperture of a camera – a reference to the fact that the stadium is to be the centre of global media attention. As Clarisse also comments, “I wanted to use the best possible materials to create an object of luxury for this VIP area and have chosen a combination of rich woods and metals.”
See the piece in action by watching the below YouTube videos