‘When’ Venice calls for Australian cities of the future

Creative Directors 2010 John Gollings & Ivan Rijavec
Photographer: David Pidgeon

A national design competition by Australia’s Creative Directors for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale opens tomorrow, and invites architects to unleash their imaginations in addressing issues of Australian Urbanism.

Australia’s two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition in Venice next year will highlight three Australian urban regions as they are ‘now’, before dramatically representing futuristic urban settings as they may be ‘when’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

Profiling Sydney, Melbourne and Surfers Paradise through stereoscopic visuals, the NOW component will show contrasting views of these cities from macro-scapes at 20,000 feet to ‘helicoptering’ views of urban and architectural icons at close range.

Name: Interior walls
Photographer: Floodslicer

WHEN is daring to imagine Australian urban spaces in 40 years’ and beyond, with the intent of ‘catapulting urban debate into eye-popping visceral entertainment set in a soundscape’.

Liberating architects from current planning and design constraints and encouraging speculative, futuristic visions, the Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+ competition is being held to source material for the WHEN part of Australia’s exhibition.

The creative team behind NOW+WHEN, John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec, see urban transformation in Australia 2050 and beyond being driven as much by political and economic imperatives as they will be by technology and design. Rijavec and Gollings are keen to see designs which reflect these circumstances.

“We’re especially interested in really imaginative designs with a strong theoretical basis which both integrate cultural influences and exploit the creative potential of architecture,” said Mr Rijavec.

The directors will be looking for designs which apply to the city as a whole rather than infill or minor precincts, and address fundamental issues of Australian Urbanism such as density, sustainability and the effects of global warming.

Name: Explanatory Diagram
Photographer: Floodslicer

“Ultimately we want participants to show us what we are likely to become and how our cities will accommodate us as they develop in the matrix of world urbanism and what will be the nature of our inevitable cultural transformation,” Mr Rijavec said.

A shortlist of entrants will be selected to develop their designs further, from which a group of finalists will be announced and whose work will be exhibited at the Australian Pavilion in Venice next year.

Name: Melbourne aerial
Photographer: John Gollings

The Australian Exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale is a major project of the Australian Institute of Architects. The Institute thanks its sponsors Austral Bricks, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Zip Industries, Autodesk and Architecture Media. The Institute also recognises the significant contribution of Network Venice practices and donors, and gratefully acknowledges the help and support given by the Australia Council for the Arts, including the use of the Pavilion for this exhibition.

All competition information is available at www.architecture.com.au/nowandwhen

For more information visit www.architecture.com.au


Organised by Pittwater climate action group our local event took place on Mona Vale beach. This was part of two other events on the northern beaches of Sydney. The other two events organised by Manly Warringah Climate Action Group took place on The Steyne and Dee Why beaches. While across the world there were another 4000 events taking place, all in a protest to bring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels back to below 350 parts per million; currently 387ppm and rising.

350 Day Mona Vale Beach

There were climate action events from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef to the summit of Mount Everest. At each event – at rallies and parties and deep-sea dives – people have taken thousands of photos that somehow depict the number 350. The crew at 350.org have taken these thousands of photos, projecting them onto the giant screens in New York’s Times Square, and delivering them directly to hundreds of world leaders and politicians in the coming weeks.

350 Day – Dee Why Beach

New Zealand – Parliament 350 has been getting some serious air time with New Zealand politicians in the last few days. On Tuesday, more than 20 Members of Parliament from the National, Green and Labour parties joined about 40 school students in reading out a statement declaring that they will work together on climate change now and for our children’s children.

350 Day – North Steyne Beach

To see more 350 events around the world visit www.350.org and www.aboutpeople.com.au


One of Australia’s most collectable abstract landscape artists, Gemma Lynch-Memory, celebrates her 21st solo exhibition titled Big Country exclusively with Luxury Home Design

Inside Gemma’s studio is a quiet reverence broken only by the sound of the careful application to her creative process. Spanning almost two decades and 20 solo exhibitions, it’s a process as introspective and individual as the artist herself. Her actions are purposeful and convey a sense of urgency as she seeks to capture the essence of ephemeral inspiration. There is a constant referencing to an open journal of sketched ideas and musings that form the seeds of creative conception. But it is only during the actual application of paint on canvas that her subconscious concepts emerge and bloom.
Several pieces are worked on simultaneously so as to best manage the various stages of drying and curing paints. Warm, luminous liquid varnishes are honey-poured over surfaces to create mirror-like finishes. The studio atmosphere is occasionally disturbed by the sound of a powered sander or dremel drill as they’re used to create fine abstract marks and details. As each work nears completion, they are moved to her studio gallery to “let rest” before any final fine-tuning is made and the painting can be considered complete. From initial canvas priming to the signing of the work, the entire process absorbs several months.

Her works are abstract landscape compositions that feature rich and vivid colours. The iconographic markings and segregated space entice an emotive response and long, lonely horizons where “heaven meets earth” speak to our country yearnings. Organic debris made up of small sticks, soil, rocks and dried vegetation give the work a “living” quality and occasional hand-painted text introduce further depth and meaning. Perhaps it is Gemma’s country childhood and the use of debris and soil pigments that give her work such an uncanny sense of place. From our oceans to our outback and our rivers to our deserts, Gemma Lynch-Memory’s paintings capture the spirit and character that live in the heart of every Australian.

In 2007, after finding a copy of a diary in a second-hand bookshop, Gemma became the first person to retrace the outback journey of Australia’s first female explorer, Emily Caroline Creaghe. Inspired by the diary, the expedition was research for her “emily:explorer” national touring exhibition that celebrated the incredible achievements of this little-known Australian woman. The expedition was featured on the ABC 7:30 Report and Gemma was recognised by the International Society of Female Explorers based in New York. The touring exhibition received critical acclaim and was also featured in Australian Art Review magazine.

For 2009 Gemma has created an exciting new collection of works that will become her celebrated 21st solo exhibition, titled Big Country. The exhibition features her trademark colour chords and expressive horizons and the works are large, bold and confident. Her RMB 1026 (Roadside Mail Box) is reminiscent of a drive-by snapshot of the quintessential country letter box. Painted with pallet knife in thick impasto chunks, the letter boxes stand boldly within the stark landscape. The “River” series has deep brooding rivers stretching along dense tree-lined river banks as they make their way to the coast. The “Muddy Waterholes” glisten with the offering of a cool oasis in harsh red brown lands and her “Waterlilies” and “Wildflower” works have proven irresistible to the buying public.

Gemma has already achieved much in her career. With a constant demand for work from collectors both in Australia and overseas she has had little respite. Prices for her work have increased greatly in the last decade and this demand and a slower output of work will continue to drive prices higher. Those looking to invest and purchase significant artwork for their home would do well to take note of this current exhibition.

To achieve a 21st solo exhibition for any artist is a true milestone and a testament to creative strength. Gemma Lynch-Memory’s Big Country exhibition marks the exciting beginning of the second chapter of this remarkable career.