David Cross works across, installation, sculpture, video, photography and participatory art. His works often involve inflatable objects and structures that draw audiences into unexpected situations and dialogues. Cross has recently begun to focus on inventing new sporting games as artworks staging competitive events in Sydney (Campbelltown Arts Centre) and Christchurch (Scape Public Art Biennial). Both Level Playing Field (2013) and Skyball (2014) combine conventional sporting attributes (skill, endurance, teamwork, rules) with distinct visual art forms and modes (colour, structure, site specificity and risk). In seeking to examine and interrogate the shared terrain of art and sport, Cross highlights how the supposedly distinct aspects of both can be brought together in productive and challenging ways. Curator Blair French has described the experience of Level Playing Field as ‘adroitly yoking together the distinct languages of art and sport to create a work that could also be construed as an extraordinary public sculpture’.
David Cross has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, Australia, Eastern Europe, Canada and the United Kingdom. He has performed in international live art festivals in Poland, Croatia and was selected as a New Zealand representative at the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 and 2015. Cross was commissioned by the National Institute of Experimental Art, University of New South Wales and the City of Sydney to develop Drift, a large-scale public art commission for Taylors Square in Sydney in 2011 and his installation Lean was included in ‘The Obstinate Object’ at Wellington City Art Gallery, 2012. His work Hold was selected for inclusion in ‘Liveworks’ at Performance Space, Sydney, 2010, and featured as part of the Arts House season in the Melbourne Festival, 2012. His work Bounce was included in the New Zealand survey of performance ‘Mostly Harmless’ at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 2006. Recently Cross has developed major temporary public commissions for Scape Public Art 7 in Christchurch, New Zealand (Level Playing Field) and Campbelltown Arts Centre (Skyball). Cross also writes on contemporary art and his curatorial projects include the large art in public space projects ‘One Day Sculpture’ across New Zealand, 2008–09 (co-directed with Claire Doherty), ‘Iteration: Again’ in Tasmania, 2011 and more recently Treatment: Six Public Artworks at Western Treatment plant. Cross holds a PhD from the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. And is Professor of Art and Performance at Deakin University, Melbourne.