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Re-drawing Lake George

Part 2 Project 2003
Matthew Bennett
University of Sydney | Australia
In 1901 The Commonwealth of Australia was formed by the federation of its 6 separate colonies. In 1902 a new capital was imagined, Venice like, on the shores of Lake George, an open, largely pastoral site roughly halfway between the rival centres of Sydney and Melbourne. The 150 sq km lake empties during periods of drought to reveal paddocks subdivided for sheep grazing. Foreign architectural and agricultural models have been deposited in the lake for 200 years. This project seeks to identify the potential of this history through a process of close documentation and observation of the geometric, programmatic and imaginative narrative of the lake. The proposal is represented as a pattern of organisation imprinted in the lakebed surface, an excavation ready to accept architecture.

Matthew Bennett

The provision of a place for the work of the Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne is used to explore the re-presentative potential of drawing as a form of imaginative knowledge. Taking as its subject matter representations of Lake George in the form of maps, artworks and text, the device of mapping is used to simultaneously clarify and de-familiarise perceptions of the lake and its past and present uses. Through obsessive iterations the drawings make possible an extended perception of the site, actively reconstructing it for an architectural occupation.

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