Artists: Alison Alder, Alex Asch, Robert Boynes, Ham Darroch, Julian Laffan, Raquel Ormella, John Reid, Toni Robertson and Bernie Slater.
Politics is the sole reason for Canberra’s existence. Canberra was never the first choice for Australia’s capital but a political compromise between the power brokers in Sydney and Melbourne. In this arena Walter Burley Griffin Gave us a city planned with political power at its heart. Capitalizing on the strength of symmetry, the city was created with circles, hexagons and a self-reinforcing power structure, the triangle. Australia’s political heart aligns with the region’s topographical landmarks, and avenues radiate outwards, connecting Canberra to the rest of the world.
The design could be mistaken as a socialist dream made into reality, with public housing in every suburb, encouraging equality, and incorporating the landscape as the playground for city dwellers. Mt. Pleasant is one of the best vantage points to appreciate how truly political the landscape of Canberra is. From this vantage point one can see the obvious formation of the political triangle dissecting Lake Burley Griffin and within it, gifts and monuments: the Captain James Cook Memorial Fountain, The National Carillion (a French instrument), the Australian-American War Memorial and in the distance, the Russian inspired Telstra Tower.
The artists featured in The Triangle are local residents, or have called Canberra home in the last 40 years, and stand in witness to the contemporary political art scene.
Excerpt from catalogue essay by Alexander Boynes
John Reid, Untitled (Collage of Australian banknotes), 1982 - ongoing, Australian banknotes, glue, museum board, cedar moulding, 300cm x 500cm; photo Brenton McGeachie