The National Gallery of Victoria launched their Pool exhibition in style last week with kids adorned in floaties, pool toys in hand, frolicking in an 11m-long real life but still artistic representation of a swimming pool.
The exquisitely designed pool is complete with wooden decking and bespoke pool lounge chairs, with visitors invited to dangle their feet in the water and sit poolside to reflect on one of Australia’s greatest cultural icons – the swimming pool.
Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, opened the multisensory exhibition. The Pool had previously debuted at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, where it received more than 100,000 visitors.
As well as offering a lens through which to explore Australian cultural identity, the Pool explores important pools of Australia through a series of “lanes”.
In a playful reference to the eight competition lanes that make up the standard Olympic pool, eight public personas tell their stories of architecture and culture: Giving of Life (Tim Flannery); Bodies of Water (Ian Thorpe); Childhood Memories (Romance Was Born); Other Worlds (Christos Tsiolkas); Public Dreaming (Anna Funder); Contested Space (Hetti Perkins); Theatre of Competition (Shane Gould) and Deeper Water (Paul Kelly).