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Friday, 10 April 2015

FINDING COUNTRY, DOWN CITY STREETS WORKSHOP - KEVIN O'BRIEN



(Photo 1&2 courtesy Gilbert Grace)

Finding Country is an ongoing project initiated by Kevin O’Brien in 2006 and continuing as a pluralist contest between the idea of Aboriginal space (Country), and European space (property) in Australia. Aboriginal Country is excluded from the Australian city and even more so in the derivative architecture. .. The Finding Country position is that this paper is not empty, but is full of what can’t be seen. ... we were asked to do some controlled burning to re-purpose our city grid for half of the population.. here is my rationale..

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3-d tile of A-8 featuring Sydney Entertainment Centre and Chinese Garden.
An explanation of the process for controlled burning
The area is full of cultural spaces, I was talking to Sian Hromek earlier about her work with Firesticks, and how fire is traditionally used to claim cultural spaces, so I use a controlled burning technique to reclaim these areas for communities.
Sand is used as the sculptural material as it is the main component of cement.
Sydney Entertainment Centre takes up almost half of the grid. This will be the site for most of the controlled burning. The Entertainment Centre is burned so all that is left is a skeleton structure. Outdoor cultural events, will now be held here instead, as with the Chinese Garden, tents are allowed to be pitched for nomadic entertainers and travellers.
The controlled burning of the Chinese Garden allows some native regeneration and it is opened up as a camping ground.
This ungentrification of these cultural areas result in 50% of the population in the buildings on the East of Harbor St to move, especially to be closer to their families, during this controlled burning happening through all of Sydney.
Grasses slowly grow between the cracks of the pavement as the open, concreted areas are continually burnt using a high temperature fire. Sculpturally, Paper collage of grasses represent the vegetation that will be regenerated by the fire,
The orange coloured PVA is for the sandstone beneath the roads, that will eventually be exposed.
Coloured Play-doh represents foreign plant infestations that will still grow after the fire, the Chinese Garden holds many Privet trees which when uncontrolled can create a monoculture forest. Hopefully the controlled burning will regenerate the native grasses and trees before the privet has time to regrow