School of Architecture

Monday 28 May 2018

Repair pits lush, wild grasses against the traditionally stark aesthetic of an architectural exhibition.

Earlier this month, the people of Venice might have witnessed a strange spectacle: a field of grass floating down one of the city's famous canals.

It was the last leg of a journey that saw 10,000 critically endangered Australian grass plants transported, first as seeds, from the state of Victoria to a location in San Remo (north-west Italy), where they were planted and nurtured to maturity, and then on to Venice. This botanical odyssey was in aid of Repair, the Australian contribution to this year's Venice Architecture Biennale.

The grasses, representing 65 species native to the Victorian Western Plains grasslands, will form part of a "living installation" inside the Australian pavilion, taking up approximately the same square-metreage as the average Australian house.

Repair's curators are Melbourne architects Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright (Baracco+Wright Architects), who worked in collaboration with photographer, performer, installation and video artist Linda Tegg. On Skype from Venice earlier this month, the three expressed tentative delight that this months-long process — the seeds were sown in August 2017 — is nearing completion.

"It's still early stages," Barraco chuckles, "but in half an hour we'll be meeting with the electrician and then we'll start to be comfortable."

Read more here 

Image: Barraco+Wright/Ryan Gardiner

UQ School of Architecture is proud to support Professor Paul Memmott's involvement in the Australian Pavillion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.