The Drought Proof Cube is a commentary on the contrast between the current state of the landscape in central Victoria, as exemplified by the drought affected paddocks of the Rainbow Serpent site, and the alternate possibility of a thriving wetter ecosystem. The piece consists of a clear cube representing a barrier between the outside reality and reality inside the cube of healthy endemic shrubs that would have been possible without abusive human intervention in the landscape. It is up to the viewer to think about if that reality is still a possibility if the barrier represents nothing more than the human mind. The walls physically highlight the difference between the ground outside the perspex cube and the moss within and a dead branch outside the cube becomes alive as it crosses the barrier. The piece will simulate occasional thunder storms with built in rain, thunder and lightning effects to evoke feelings of a wetter world and stimulate questions around the role of the human mind in making this possible. Platypus Spaces acknowledges that this piece will be built on stolen land of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung people - sovereignty never ceded.
Oliver Wardle from Platypus Spaces is a developing instillation artist and creative builder and designer with ambitions to bring together off-grid living with design and sculpture in spaces which feature greenery living side by side with people. Having grown up in the central goldfields region of Victoria drought has been a big part of his life and so influences both a desire to create water efficient living and working spaces and the desire in this instillation to highlight the contrast between a dry and wet world. Works have included installations for Burning Seed (The Black Pedal 2018) and Rainbow (Balloon To The Moon 2016) as well as a history of arts and decor work at several festivals and events in the past.