In the mid-1980s gallery installations with specially constructed vitrines, low floor-hugging cases, or freestanding sculpture took over from in-person witnessing of Drummond's performative acts, or photographic documentation of those acts. Through elements such as graphite drawings and carved slate, Drummond created parallels between the large natural world and his own vulnerable body, linking braided rivers to his own capillaries and lungs, and using willow or copper 'archaeological' tools to cleanse, filter, or excavate sites as diverse as the Aramoana mudflats and the Whanganui and Maerewhenua Rivers.Read More
Works from this period include Filter Action (1980), Five Sights (1987), Vessels and Containers (1987); Braided Rivers (1987); and Repository for Dreams and Journeys (1989).
In the 1990s, Drummond made public sculptures for parks with vistas, and both domestic and institutional indoor spaces. Initially many were static, spiralling copper forms positioned above symbolic vegetation like dried sphagnum moss, each a funnel above a filter. But when they became machinic substitutes for his own body, Drummond incorporated kinetic components connected to bellows or extending willow 'arms', lodged within moving shiny brass, glass, or perforated steel cylinders.
These works include Devices for Support and Storage (1990), Listening and Viewing Device (1994), Solitary Hanging Device (1994), 90º Device, Beating (1995), and For Breathing and Reaching (1995).