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Futago – Royal Hobart Hospital Emergency Department


Microscopic Satellite uses two satellite images of Tasmania that have been enlarged many times and pixilated to create two oversized artwork panels. Squint and you will see the Pieman River winding through its lush green habitat in the North West of the state, while a large formation of phytoplankton bloom in the deep blue water off the East Coast of Tasmania.

Underlying these macroscopic views of the world are eleven schematic diagrams of microscopic cellular structures found in humans – including different types of blood cells, neurons, Mitosis (the process of a cell dividing) and a venous flow pattern. These drawings come into view at certain times of the day when they become illuminated from behind, providing an ever changing view.

This juxtaposition of images highlights the similarities and complexity of patterns in nature on different scales. Like the web of neurons transmitting data and the venous flows through our bodies delivering vitals to keep us alive, rivers criss-cross the country in similar fashion sustaining life.

The work is made up of painted aluminium tiles & laminated glass panels.  When the panels are lit from behind, an image is revealed.  There are eleven panels with the lighting behind each being controlled individually.  A six hour sequence is programmed with different panels fading in and out.  The sequence loops indefinitely.

This work is part of the Tasmanian government’s public art collection commissioned through the Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme.


Futago is a design studio based in Hobart, Tasmania. Their team of seven has expertise in many areas including public art, graphic design, cultural interpretation, lighting design, fine art and project management. These skills, combined with their commitment to collaborative work with independent artists and writers, allows them to realise engaging and powerful ideas in public art and environmental design. Their work has been awarded both nationally and internationally.

Public art nearby