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Port Phillip Bay


Lime stone, luminescent paint




Since Melbourne was given the name Melbourne, its cultural sphere has been so transformed that no one fully knows the original division of land. Waterways and roads transformed by concrete have obscured this further.

A theory suggests that Port Melbourne was originally just dry land, not a bay, and became part of the sea by flooding. This fact has been passed down by the Aboriginal people as folklore.

According to the 2011 ABC Science article “Port Phillip Bay once high and dry,” Dr Guy Holdgate claims the following:
"’Aboriginal oral history talks about it happening very quickly during a great flood’.".
"’The traditional story involves a group of young boys being left behind at camp while the adults were looking for food. The boys threw a spear into a magic water container which burst, causing the area to suddenly flood.’"

It is assumed that this port was just a lake a thousand years ago and has been flooded by a river. The article points out the possibility that the site was created by a great flood. The Aboriginal people have passed the story down from generation to generation until the present day.

In this work, the artist drew the shape of Melbourne's harbour in limestone, cut it based on its outline, and poured a resin material coloured with luminescent paint. This piece was created as a response to this article. Two types of lines, straight lines, and organic lines that follow the topography, are present in this sculpture. Although the site is never actually squared off in this way, it is a reference to the act that divides the land without regard to its topography.
I wanted to honour the act of inheritance by sculpting the shape of the sea, so I carved the sea out of a rectangular form.
This work is a fictional work created based on the current bay line as of 2022.
It is also intentionally built lower on the seaward side than in the bay, a reference to Melbourne's history.

The topography and landscape we take for granted can easily be altered. The work suggests that it is being transformed every moment each day, forcing us to question the landscape below us.

Limestone is a material suitable for construction, used as far back as the pyramids of Egypt. It is a type of sedimentary rock that has supported people's lives for thousands of years. It is a soft material that absorbs water. Australia is home to limestone beaches and has a strong affinity with this material.

This sculptural act is an egoistic re-scraping of the limestone masses that have formed and existed over tens of thousands of years.



2011年のABC Scienceの記事「Port Phillip Bay once high and dry」によると、Guy Holdgate博士は次のように話している。







Stuart Gary. “Port Phillip Bay Once High and Dry.” ABC Science, April 14, 2011.

Photo: Jiawei Li

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