NGV’s New Pink Pond Invites Us to Pond(er) Our Environmental Future

National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has released plans for an architecturally designed pink pond to be built in the NGV garden, that has a deeper meaning than simple aesthetics.

With an aim to be evocative of Australia’s inland salt lakes, the designs have
been revealed as the winner of the NGV’s 2021 Architecture Commission in the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV International, a huge feat, for an incredibly important and aesthetically beautiful design.

Designed by a Melbourne-based team comprising architecture firm, Taylor Knights, in collaboration with artist James Carey, the installation, entitled pond[er], will offer a space for visitors to cool off during the summer months and reflect on their relationship with the environment.

There’s genuinely never been a more Instagram-worthy place to cool off over summer and pond(er) our looming climate crisis.

Referencing Sir Roy Grounds’s open-air courtyards in the original design of NGV International, this architecture and landscape installation comprises two key design elements: a body of indigenous plants and a body of water. 

The body of water is coloured pink, making direct reference to the many inland salt lakes in Victoria and highlighting the scarcity, importance and political implications of water as a natural resource.

The installation also includes beds of Victorian wildflowers, that bloom at different times throughout the installation. They successfully highlight the beauty, precariousness and temporality of our natural ecology. It could be blooming one day, and gone the next.

Instagram / @ngvmelbourn

Envisioned as a space that becomes part the NGV garden rather than a separate architectural object, pond[er] invites us to move through a series of interconnected walkways and accessible platforms, which will act as immersive spaces of flora and water. You’ll also be allowed to step down and wade through the pink pond. 

“Consistent with previous winners, pond[er] demonstrates the alignment of values of the NGV and RMIT University that continue to underpin our partnership,” says Tim Marshall, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Design and Global Context, and Vice-President, RMIT University. 

“Climate emergency, social inclusion and care for Country emerge through this thoughtful project. RMIT University is proud to be the Design Partner of the NGV and a major sponsor of the NGV Architecture Commission which provides support and recognition for emerging Australian architecture practices, and artists.”

For all information, head to the NGV website here and follow them on Instagram here.

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