Pier Shear is a work that conceptualizes the man shipping pier in Rijeka, Croatia as an outdoor art gallery, with a core concept of transformation. Pier Shear brings seven sheep to live on the pier, while seven local artists transform raw wool into art installations that reveal the complexity of Rijeka's transitioning future. These wool artworks address issues of history, utopian visions, storytelling, globalization, and current political, social, and economic situations, as well as craft and formal artistic perspectives.
Pier Shear is the creation of a new story for the city of Rijeka, one that connects its livelihood, unique urban locations, natural elements, and strong sense of culture. It shows that just under the surface, Rijeka is a city with deep currents of possibility. Exploring the idea of the pier in downtown Rijeka as site of transformation and growth, Pier Shear is not a work that provides answers, but a platform and a process that reveals imagination. By directly involving local artists and craftspeople in creating artworks of wool aimed at transforming the experience of the pier, Pier Shear draws upon the citys long history of creative strengths exposing personal, unspoken, and invisible aspects of the city.
Sheep are a symbol of the everyday visions that surround Rijeka. Sheep are woven into the culture through jokes, metaphors, advertisements, stories, and rituals. They are often taken for granted, similar to how we view the pier. The sheeps course wool, like the raw feeling of the pier, is often seen as valueless; however, when the visions and talents of artists from Rijeka are focused on creating change, something wonderful and deeply satisfying happens.