An 11m long pool will be transported to the National Gallery of Victoria for The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity, an exhibition that celebrates and explores one of Australia’s greatest cultural symbols.

A multi-sensory installation of water, light, scent and sound, The Pool is an interactive space, complete with wooden decking and pool lounge chairs, that reveals the connection between landscape, culture and architecture through a singular architectural form.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Whether natural or manmade, inland or coastal, pools are undeniably linked to the Australian lifestyle and our national psyche.

We encourage visitors to dangle their feet in the water or relax poolside as they reflect on the idea of the pool as a place of cultural exchange, socialising, competition and reminiscence.’

The exhibition holds its Australian premiere following a successful showing at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale where it received more than 100,000 visitors.

It was presented by the Australian Institute of Architects and curated by Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday) with Michelle Tabet.

The installation also includes a series of eight ‘lanes’ that present audio excerpts from eight prominent Australian figures who share their personal stories to further reveal the relationship between the pool, its architecture and Australian cultural identity: Olympic gold medal winning swimmers Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould; environmentalist and 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery; fashion designers Romance Was Born; writer of best-selling book The Slap Christos Tsiolkas; winner of the 2012 Miles Franklin Prize Anna Funder; Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins and Australian rock musician Paul Kelly.

The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 18 August 2017 to February 2018. Entry is free.

Source: the NGV