WaterLore: Learning from the Drylands Exhibition
On Friday May 3 the Melbourne School of Design formally opened ‘WaterLore: Learning from the Drylands”.
Curated by landscape architects Professor Gini Lee & Antonia Besa, this exhibition presented an intensive deep mapping project as a medium for shared knowledge, novel systems and sustainable ecologies for arid regions, aimed at benefiting urban communities facing drying Anthropocene conditions.
Based on interdisciplinary secondary research together with field work and site explorations, the exhibition displayed a large-scale water map of dryland Australian landscapes, specifically two major Australian river systems, the regulated Murray Darling and the unregulated Cooper Creek, formed by water overlaid with contemporary and historic water values and installations. The curators looked to identify ‘hotspots’ where critical conditions overlap, with these ‘hotspots’ provoking discourse on future cultural water strategy and possible design projects for communities and landscapes.
“Mapping at large scale conveys the scale and beauty of our critical river systems and designated hotspots reveal the contemporary conditions of places formed by access to and deeply held values for water” remarked Professor Lee. “This exhibition will hopefully start conversation about cultural water, about what the rights to water are and ask how do we value water, landscape and people”.
The exhibition included hand drawn artwork and maps, aerial photography, news articles, specimens, literature, video and a dryland lexicon.