The invitation to create an activity for the NGV kids summer festival was a by-product from the manufacture of the John Wardle Architecture Commission. With surplus PROMEG available, the Architects suggested 'something' to connect the commission, the garden and an interested public. First concepts considered the translucent forms of the Commission. Children became lost and disinterested in the shapes, and felt the garden was not acknowledged in the process. A bottlebrush with a possum was adopted in recognition to Australian fauna. A visit to the NGV garden in spring blossom inspired the form. The light hearted and curious form interested test groups, who wished for a small base to proudly display the stems.
The activity contributed beautifully to the commission. Manufactured from the waste of the commission, the colour and form match perfectly. Set underneath the Commission, a variety of tables and chairs catered for all. The die cut kits allowed for a neat and compact execution. The activity created a memorable and important experience. It drew people to the Commission that, whilst stunning, is static. The dynamic activity allowed participants to engage with a material from the Commission, and explore how it prompted the design. In addition, the activity created an individual experience that is fun and imaginative, fostering an inclusive environment within the NGV.
The project was inspired and created from the Commission's waste. Waste would have ordinarily been recycled back into the closed loop system at Megara. The activity creates value for the waste, forming an educational resource that enhances understanding back onto the Commission itself. PROMEG is a by-product of petroleum refinement, which also is recycled at Megara. The material is durable, hard wearing and adaptable. PROMEG was the ideal choice for the Commission and activity, allowing participants to keep the bottlebrushpossum as pride of place at home, whilst being able to be recycled at the end of its life.
The service is truly unique in that it is a public program that condenses artistic work into a form that can engage and inspire the general public. Being created from waste material, the activity responds and complements the Commission, sparking awareness of environmental responsibility and how resources can be creativity reused. The activity encourages families to become involved with artistic spaces. Art galleries can be formal and complex spaces, which could be considered hostile to young families. The activity innovates by encouraging whole family participation in a light hearted and fun manner. NGV enhances their public perception as an inclusive environment, while establishing long term goodwill.
The activity has made a significant contribution to the NGV kids program. The positivity from all concerned highlights the impact of a close integration between public programs and artistic endeavours. Over eleven days, over 13,000 kits were distributed and assembled. The activity fostered a fun and creative space for families. In doing so, the NGV reinforces itself as a space for all; a space that invokes passion and interest in the arts. “The activity is overwhelmingly popular and the Deputy Director, Andrew Clark has remarked on its success. We have received great feedback from everyone taking part! “ Kate Ryan, The Truby and Florence Williams Curator of Children's Programs.