title_ Water Veil

date_ 2006

location_ Council House 2 (CH2)Building, Melbourne, Australia

client_ Melbourne City Council

text_ A diaphanous, experiential and reflective glass veil that transforms the window between the foyer and the public space of the street into a membranous fluid space, a space of seemingly non-fixity within the urban context.

The work expresses and reveals the transformation and purification of water, echoing the black water treatment within the building, expressing purity and translucence representing the purification of water.

The actual space of the wall expresses a slight ambiguity, a slight breathing sense through the layering and changing light and reflection.

Utilising the double-storey height of the window, enhancing a vertical sensation and enabling a sense of flow and spilling of fluids, the wall is made up of layers of veils of vertical glass panels, of crystal clear, star-fired glass to create a whiteness and difference from the surrounding architectural green-tinted float glass. The glass elements are screen-printed, minimally imaging vertical laboratory glass vessels.

The lateral panels on either side of this wall are both hanging or standing. Each has been poured with transparent paint varying in tone, that express and appear as fluids in a state of suspension. Each panel represents elements removed or transformed during the purification and filtration of water.

The symbols of these elements and the measurements are screen-printed in transparent silver – light or lead colour. The paint pours vary from granula grey black to silvery transparent and clear – progressively expressing the state of water, from particle state to a clear transparency.

The artwork has been very distilled – what it reveals has been incorporated and infused. It does have an educative and interpretive function within the building and from the public space outside creates a dramatic effect. It serves to amplify the functional expression of the CH2 building as environmentally sustainable.

Janet Laurence