Creative Directors Baracco +Wright Architects in collaboration with Linda Tegg
The ‘Repair’ exhibition in the Australian pavilion of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, presented ‘architecture actively engaging with the repair of the places it is part of’ as a contribution to the overall Biennale theme of ‘Free Space’ curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. Our work for ‘(re)pair’ was the (re)presentation of the site and ongoing regeneration of the Somers Farm and Wetlands including the house addition and bird hide structures which curate the movement through the larger landscape, (re)titled ‘Kullurk/ Coolart’.
We approach much of our work with a philosophy and a process of making, that can be understood as ‘repair’, where what has come before is brought back into a new and ongoing relationship with the present. The string of wetlands in this low-lying land brings back the former intermittent presence of water and the diversity of life that it supports. The title ‘Kullurk/ Coolart’ refers to early and contemporary versions of the Boon Wurrung name for this area of Westernport, presenting them as coexistent. The presence of the Boon Wurrung journey lines is ongoing and exists side by side with the contemporary movement through the farm and wetlands curated by the architectural pieces.
Two videos of the Kullurk/ Coolart, made by artist Linda Tegg, were simultaneously projected, side by side, at large scale on the gallery walls – one video a line of movement up from the coastal foreshore to the wetlands, the other down along the road through the house addition and the farm to the wetlands, both videos meeting and ending at the bird hide. Filling much of the internal space of the gallery was an installation of ‘grassland’ plants. The experience of watching the videos was an overlapping and foreshortening of the projected views of the regenerating project and smells and textures of actual vegetation, the ‘floating city’ of Venice and the coastal edge of Westernport.
Note: The ‘Grassland’ plant community of Victoria is highly threatened. Some of the species of this plant community are regenerating in the wetland project.