The pink pond will invite visitors to… Pond[er].
While Pond[er], the winner of the NGV’s 2021 Architectural Commission, makes reference to the original open-air courtyard design of the NGV International, it is more obviously evocative of the natural phenomenon that is Australia’s pink in-land salt lakes.
Designed and produced by architecture firm Taylor Knights and artist James Carey, the pink pond will be installed in the Grollo Equiset sculpture garden in late spring. However, the installation is not meant to be seen as separate from the NGV garden, but rather as a part of it where visitors are invited to interact with it.
As such, a series of interconnected pathways will allow audiences to wander through the blushing pink pond while those unafraid to get a little wetter will be able to step down into the pool and wade through the water. The body of water will be complemented by the planting of native Victoria wildflowers that will bloom at various times throughout the installation.
As the title of the piece suggests, visitors sitting around the pond, dipping their toes in and cooling off this summer are asked to reflect on what they see: water, our most precious natural resource, and its scarcity as well as the beauty and temporality of nature.
NGV director, Tony Ellwood, said “Through an elegant interplay of architectural and landscape elements, this work draws our attention to the challenges facing Australia’s many catchments and river systems, whilst also ensuring that the design itself has minimal environmental impact by considering the future lifecycle of the materials used.”
The materials for the installation have been sourced locally and, where possible, will then be distributed back to the community through Landcare and Indigenous groups following deinstallation.
Pond[er] is slated to open in the Grollo Equiset garden this November, just in time for summer, and expected to remain until April of next year.