Crimson Mandala

Spiritual Courtyard, RMIT University (former Melbourne Gaols)
Site-specic installation and Intervention (2008)

(Biodegradable and compostable bags, cotton string bags and 155 L of water)

Drought is a natural part of Australia’s variable climate. They may last months or years. In Melbourne, the drought has continued for over ten years, bringing Melbourne’s water catchments to a crisis point. Water restrictions ran state-wide.

An initiative of the Victorian State Government called ‘Target 155’, asked all Victorian residents to reduce their individual water consumption to 155L a day. Stone in Water Continuum – Crimson Mandala addresses how consumption affects our water sources in Melbourne, but also in an era when the global water crisis will impact us all.

Stone in Water Continuum – Crimson Mandala is a relational intervention and art installation held on 15 December 2008, one week before Christmas.  The installation uses 155L of tap water held in 155 composable non-plastic bags to give an alternate visual representation of this volume. Plastics are a major contributor to the litter stream, often clogging waterways, endangering species and releasing toxins into our ecosystem. Using non-plastic bags, such as the red cotton string bags and the ‘Biofilm’ bags in this installation, it was dismantled at the opening by giving a litre of water to each individual, asking them to consider how ‘consumption’ in many forms affects our precious water sources.