Nunan created ‘Joy’ while she was working on a major commission for three acrobats. Inspired by traditional Chinese clothing, she sculpted the acrobats in a more geometric format to avoid the anatomical concentration of figure and to focus more on the solidity of the supporting figures in the squared off clothes and the exuberance and energy of movement in the balancing acrobat. The rider in Joy has a direct correlation to these acrobats, creating a star form in his Chinese inspired costume, a moment of joy and abandon, arms and legs flung wide, with absolute trust in the safety and strength of the solid horse below. This sculpture is truly a celebration of life, of the feeling of certainty and safety one sometimes knows and the complete joy of letting go.
The first edition is in the collection of the Hamilton Regional Gallery Museum, Australia.