Building home

You might be forgiven for thinking that someone has a lot of time and cardboard on their hands when you visit In-Habit at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. And you wouldn't be wrong. Indeed many hours and a whole lot of boxes go into the installation of this mammoth touring project. In-Habit, like Rome, was not built in a day.

The cardboard walls of this metropolis are constructed entirely from recycled cardboard boxes, sticky tape, toothpicks, paper and glue — a project which has art climbing the walls from floor to ceiling in each of the gallery spaces in order to build this magical monstrous-city.

The gallery floor is firstly prepared with adhesive plastic sheeting creating a shimmering effect, emulating the ‘floating’ shanty villages of the Badjao people — the story of whom the artists, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, have based this artwork around. High-strength industrial scaffolding is then secured as framework for each specific block of wall or roof arrangement which strategically locks into place using a split-baton system. This allows large sections to be erected in one go, a process which is repeated to disassemble and reassemble the city in each of its six touring locations across the country.

The cardboard walls of this metropolis are constructed entirely from recycled cardboard boxes, sticky tape, toothpicks, paper and glue ā€” a project which has art climbing the walls from floor to ceiling in each of the gallery spaces in order to build this magical monstrous-city.

Small cardboard clad TV monitors displaying video material of the Badjao children are slotted into hidden shelving within these city ‘blocks’, and base layer cardboard is mounted on walls and cornices to form the backbone for the installation’s growth.

Like to meet the artists? They want you to help them create and build the city anew. They have faith in your construction skills — at each of the destinations, the Aquilizans encourage you to join in — they host workshops and guide school groups in creating houses from these simple materials. At its heart, In-Habit is a site responsive installation about urban sprawl, communal living and growth, where audience participation is integral.

Check out the installation video at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery to see the behind the scenes of this travelling puzzle. Hear the artists talk about their motivation and process of their creative cardboard construction.

 

Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan: In-Habit: Project Another Country is a Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation commissioned project, toured by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres of NSW create exciting and inspiring experiences for visitors and strong, thriving local communities. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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