EXHIBITION TIMES: 7 MAR – 28 JULY, 10AM–5PM DAILY
TALK: John Wardle on Somewhere Other, 16 MAR, 11AM–12PM, booking required

Somewhere Other decants years of practice by Melbourne based, John Wardle Architects, crystallised within a compact yet powerful work of architecture. The project embodies elements that are a hallmark of this practice; a passion for artists, storytelling, and the power of space to elevate the senses and transport people emotionally.

Somewhere Other invites audiences to look through five portals housed within an intriguing timber and steel structure. Experiencing the project, audiences walk around, through and into a series of interconnected timber volumes, voids and apertures, each framing a ‘portal’, a film work or intentional reflection that provides the viewer with a different experience in each instance. Somewhere Other was developed in collaboration with film makers Coco and Maximilian and New York based, Australia artist, Natasha Johns-Messenger.

Two portals impossibly extend the viewers perception of the physical space. A taller portal extends the viewers perception of space through the presentation of several ambient film pieces, abstracted vignettes of architectural projects at 1:1 scale. A long-pleated timber cantilever, reminiscent of a Venetian mask, invites the viewer to peer towards a projected film – an ambiguous tapestry of portals, thresholds and edge conditions drawn from the architects’ work. A portal, described by the architects as ‘the Venetian portal’, uses materiality and reflection to link the project’s timber and steel artisanship by fabricators Jacaranda in Geelong to that of Venice – this portal offers an intriguing view through a small circular hole, towards a large hand-blown element in red Murano glass. A small adjustable mirror reflects the viewers gaze somewhere other within the exhibition space.

The work was first exhibited as part of the 16th International Architecture Biennale of Venice curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, of Dublin based Grafton Architects under the theme ‘Freespace’ which asked participating architects to reconsider the broader global contexts; social, cultural, political, technological and economic in which architecture operates. To articulate their ideas, they were looking for architects who understood their theme, and embodied the notion that architecture must embrace local context, encourage nuance, integrate tacit knowledge, enable craft, create porosity, and ultimately enrich society in a multidimensional way.

TALK: 16 MAR, 11AM–12PM, for booking please visit John Wardle on Somewhere Other