A Place to Pond(er)

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Embedded into the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden with an eye-catching yet inviting pink hue, pond(er) – the NGV’s 2021 Architecture Commission – is officially open.

The NGV’s annual Architecture Commission has become a much-anticipated fixture on the calendar and the 2021 installation exudes joy with its saccharine pink pond.

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The latest edition of the installation is titled pond(er), designed by architects Taylor Knights in collaboration with artist James Carey.

Fusing architecture, landscape and art, pond(er) sits within the gardens as an embedded part of the landscape. A series of ramps and accessible platforms invite visitors to immerse themselves in the space and even to wade through the water. The open-air courtyard planning of the installation is a reference to the design thinking of Sir Roy Grounds’ NGV International.

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Surrounding the pink pond are garden beds planted with indigenous and native plant species, including Victorian wildflowers that will bloom at different stages throughout the installations run. The gardens were designed in association with Ben Scott Garden Design.

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Eye-catching and bright, the pink body of water draws its inspiration from Australia’s iconic inland slat lakes, inviting people to consider their relationship with the environment.

Reflective and evocative, pond(er) aims to highlight not just the natural environment and its precariousness, but also the political implications that water has as a natural resource.

“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,” says Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV.

A key consideration in this year’s installation was the use of locally sourced materials and local manufacturing wherever possible, with those materials being distributed and reused by a range of Indigenous and community groups.

The 2021 NGV Architecture Commission is open at the NGV International until 22 October 2022.

NGV International

Photography by Derek Swalwell