︎︎︎STEFAN SPANOPOULOS


Significant manipulations to the Yarra River began in 1879, with removal of billabongs and approximately 22,000 pieces of debris. In 1930 a new river channel was cut near Burnley, creating Herring Island. A point along the river which once pushed  waters across inner Melbourne creating swamplands and significant flooding. This manipulation of the land to increase the flow of the Yarra serviced the need to increase the city sprawl and stop the devastation of frequent floods.

A dispersed sprawl of interventions and removal of pieces of debris and the land gave way to industry, allowing for shipping ports to expand. By easing the discomfort and condition of the river, Melbourne was able to further grow. using Anne Truitts ‘Sea Garden’ art work as an armature, drawing for its commentary on disjointed physicality and her ideals of working with autonomy, this project becomes a series of interventions on Herring Island, with manipulation that reintroduce the discomfort and pressure that the river original created in  means to harness and honour it, instead of removing it.

A mini-hydro power plant now intervenes on the Coodes Canal, the creator of Herring Island.