Alterations: the Exhibition takes its inspiration from the new Civic Square currently under construction nearby in central Dandenong. In 2011 a team comprising Lyons Architects, RushWright landscape architects and Material Thinking won the bid to design and deliver a new Public Library, new Council Offices and a new Civic Square in the heart of Dandenong.
Paul Carter (Creative Director, Material Thinking) was invited to develop a programming strategy for the new Civic Square. Paul talked to local residents about public spaces in Dandenong and their expectations of it. He also observed how ethnically and culturally diverse communities interacted to create social and cultural practices that transcend traditional multiculturalism.
The insights gained in this way related to material practices and transactions. They suggested patterns of behaviour that could be physically expressed in the ground design of the Civic Square. Edmund Carter (Lead Designer, Material Thinking) produced a ground pattern that referenced Indigenous ideas of topography, western ideas of the map and characterised by a folded textile pattern.
In this way ‘Alterations’ as a creative principle about place-making and community-building was being inscribed into a new public space. To demonstrate the fertility of the concept, Paul decided to bring together artists able to give new form and expression to the ‘Alterations’ concept.
Edmund Carter stepped outside his role as designer to rework the process drawings and models he had devised in the course of designing the ground pattern. Dirk de Bruyn and Paul Carter embarked on a series of actions and video recordings documenting the destruction of the buildings that previously occupied the new Civic Square. Soo Yeun You (sometimes in collaboration with dancer Shaun McLeod, sometimes with Carter and de Bruyn) worked with local fabrics to improvise a new grammar of street gestures.
Alterations: the Exhibition exhibits some of the work that has come out of our collaboration. It shows how programming a public space can takes its cue directly from the inspiration of the public space design itself.
List of Works
Edmund Carter, Field, set of 12 x A1 drawings, 841 x 594mm, 250 gsm digital print.
Edmund Carter, Fall, set of 4 x models, approximately 150 x 150 x 150 mm (variable), transparent polylactide plastic.
Edmund Carter, Fold, light shade, approximately 500 x 500 x 1500 mm, mixed media on cloth, PVA glue and white paint with internal fluorescent light fitting.
Dirk de Bruyn, Loops (4 channel continuous HD video installation): Channel 1 –20 minutes; Channel 2 –30 minutes; Channel 3 –45 minutes; Channel 4 –60 minutes.
Dirk de Bruyn, Dandenong Time-Lapse, 25 minutes HD video.
Dirk de Bruyn, Wall, HD Video 30 minutes.
Soo Yeun You, Beauty of Empty Space, calligraphy on glass, 1350 x 800 mm.
Soo Yeun You, Fitting, installation, found clothes and fabrics.
Soo Yeun You/Paul Carter, Writing Back, texts on acrylic panel, 935 x 500 mm.