One year of Fractured Heart

Gotye / Illuminart interactive sculpture
 Scarlet Barnett
Gotye and Illuminart’s Cindy Drennan


It’s been a year now that the NFSA has been home to the Gotye / IIluminart interactive sculpture Fractured Heart, and what better way to celebrate its first birthday than to reflect on its time here and the thousands of visitors from Canberra, Australia and around the world, who have come to see and experience this wonderful, musical sculpture.


During my time here as a Gallery Attendant, I have seen visitors of all ages, musical inclinations and technical abilities stopping by to observe and interact with Fractured Heart. While the faces may change, I have had the same questions and comments directed to me time and time again: ‘How does it work?’ ‘What’s the point?’ ‘What does it do?’ ‘How do I make it not sound bad?!’

At its core, Fractured Heart is an interactive art installation, which illuminates and plays music according to the movements of the user. The objective is to experience and enjoy the changing light display and sounds.

There are no musical sounds included in the sculpture that are out of tune, or won’t work well together. That makes Fractured Heart possibly one of the easiest-to-play, giant musical sculptures around. To interact with Fractured Heart, a degree of movement is essential, and so many visitors have commented on the potential for Fractured Heart to be a form of exercise as well. We constantly hear the following comments:

‘It’s a lovely artwork too, just by itself.’
‘Good exercise.’
‘A modern-day kaleidoscope.’
‘I want one for home.’
‘That’s incredible, very clever.’

It has been an absolute joy to be a part of this project and to have seen so many visitors enjoying their experience. And so, on behalf of all those visitors and everyone who’s been involved, a huge thank you Gotye and Illuminart, and a happy birthday to Fractured Heart!

Fractured Heart in numbers

Total visitors, December 2012 – November 2013: 30,915

Age of users:
Under 10: 1871
11-20: 1643
21-40: 3590
41-60: 2040
School groups: 20,872