‘(This is) Air’, designed by Nic Brunsdon in collaboration with ENESS, focuses on the ever-present but often overlooked element of air.
November 9th, 2023
‘(This is) Air’ explores the use of air as a structural material. Nic Brunsdon’s inflatable sphere, reaching a height of over 14 metres, will expand and contract naturally throughout the day, creating a unique and rhythmic visual experience.
Throughout daylight hours, the installation is designed to periodically releases bursts of air, forming cloud-like shapes before re-inflating. The intention is to prompt viewers to contemplate humanity’s relationship with the essential yet invisible element of air.
The 2023 Architecture Commission is part of the NGV Triennial exhibition, which combines contemporary art, design and architecture to provide a thought-provoking view of the world. Nic Brunsdon, meanwhile, was winner of the Australian Institute of Architects Emerging Architect Award in 2015 at both Western Australian and national levels.
The exhibition is structured around three core themes: Magic, Matter and Memory.
During the summer months, ‘(This is) Air’ will serve as a venue for various public programmes and performances in the NGV Garden, further engaging the public in the exploration of air’s significance in our lives.
“The idea for this project was conceived by the architect during the global pandemic, when the air we breathed was suddenly at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” explains Ewan McEoin, senior curator in contemporary art, design and architecture at the NGV.
McEoin continues: “Taking the form of a giant inflatable sphere, this living structure inhales and exhales before our eyes, giving presence to that omnipresent yet invisible element that connects us all. Air can be understood as part of our global economic, social and ecological realities. And yet, the quality of air we breathe varies depending on where and how we live. Air is universal, yet clean air is not.”
Tony Ellwood AM, director at the NGV, also comments: “The annual NGV Architecture Commission offers a platform for Australian designers and architects to realise an ambitious new work of ephemeral architecture that pushes their practice into new and surprising frontiers.
“Since its inception in 2016, these imaginative structures have created a place for the community to come together, and many of these commissions have gone on to win some of the world’s most prestigious design and architecture awards. This series truly exemplifies the NGV’s commitment to uplifting Australia’s outstanding design and architecture practitioners and showcasing their achievements to a global audience.”
‘(This is) Air’ will be on display with free entry as part of the NGV Triennial 2023 from 3rd December 2023 to June 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne.
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