Porosity- Cockatoo Island
Porosity is a representation of conceptual ideas and experiential qualities, derived from an in-depth exploration of the history and development of Cockatoo Island. The installation was done as part of Urban Islands 2013, and was a collaborative effort by a selection of students from Universities including Sydney, UTS, UNSW, Newcastle and RMIT. The timber drying shed, located on the southern portion of the island was chosen as the location for the installation, as it is one of the most experiential spaces on the island, exhibiting strong formal and material qualities. Porosity was conceived as a representation of these qualities, drawing on the four conditions of light, air, geometry and vision.
The installation was also driven by material exploration, constantly growing and evolving throughout the fabrication process. The limited budget meant that common household materials were sourced for the majority of the installation- shade cloth and fly screen being used as the main components. Through deliberate layering of these materials, it was possible to create a sense of intrigue and obscurity for the inner elements of the installation by restricting vision and movement within and around the building. The materials, although porous by nature, became solid in appearance when layered.
Another major element of the installation was the use of light and smoke to further obscure and excite the senses. The light and shadows within the building were aspects that we sought to enhance, as well as emphasise the impact the slatted structure had on the way light was experienced within. The smoke was used to exaggerate shafts of light, whilst also exhibiting the movement of air within the space, referencing the historic use of the building as a timber drying shed. From outside the building, the smoke could be seen filtering through the façade, bringing with it traces of the structure in the shafts of light. This demonstrated the porosity of the building, whilst opposing that porosity with the visual impermeability of the materials within.