The week at BCSC began as it always does when I work in a new place, with walking as a kind of mapping process. Here, Lake Guy is a conceptual and geographical centre point, and as I circumnavigate it through walks, material explorations, and video documentation, I am slowly processing my responses to the layered and complex history of an industrial, man-made village, positioned within beautiful natural bushland.
In the past I have worked on site-specific earth projects, using local clays to express particular geological and temporal discourses. With this lens, sections of coloured earth, pigments and minerals punctuated my first few walks around the dam.
With time and further exploration, musings about the dam become more apparent in my thinking, and, as someone who usually resides in a city - separated from the origins of materials and energy production - I find it enlightening to witness several realities in the forefront. Buildings sit on earth moved directly from the dam pit to landscape the village, and the water level of the dam moves up and down as energy demands fluctuate. Whilst the heat wave took place in Melbourne last week, I felt far away, though strangely connected, as I watched the water in the dam disappear in preparation for the increase in cooling system usage in the city.
As the week ends I have an overwhelming sense of the movement in this place, from the intentional shifting of masses of earth, to the controlled breathing of the dam, to the apparent, inevitable erosion of the terraces and cabins around me, and how these events might sit within the temporal frames of past, present and future.
- 01. Detail of plate from walk one, as part of ‘Field Recordings’
- 02. Exposed mineral on east side of dam
- 03. Lake Guy surface