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for a house to become an eco-artwork...


A transformed house

  1. house exterior to be repainted white (completely remove lead-based paint safely first) as statement of its resilience and immigrant status

  2. the name above the front door to presage writings on walls inside

  3. a decorative interior focus on the relationship with plants and animals

  4. intermittent soundscapes of water use live from the underground tank available for elaboration by different composers to be heard in the house

  5. writings on the walls as eco-proverbs (a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand)

  6. Remnants of the building transformed to become art objects through house



A radical garden

  1. House and garden as a ‘pop-up book’ using lines of stone walls across the hill to retain water. All stone used to be local slate

  2. an immigrant water soundscape (culvert songs from mas cabardes) running down the hill

to lift the spirit in times of drought

  1. long table in centre of dry garden, set with earth /paperbark ‘tablecloth’, solar lighting

  2. solar fairy lights for fruit-trees to deter possums

  3. a series of rectangular metal frames on wheels with different fabric covers to shade plants, enable frost, possum, bird protection, provide changing sculptural shapes

  4. a mechanical moving scarecrow (female).

  5. a series of possum/bird box motels

  6. stone courtyard to also become bathhouse (making a bath possible but a very conscious choice of water use

  7. solar panels as plants whose leaves move to follow the sun - for the meadow

  8. a fountain-as-artwork for the magpies and a water-tower sculpture

  9. writings on placards as eco-proverbs (a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand)

  10. vegetables, flowers to be encouraged to self-sow to increase local provenance

  11. use saltbush extensively as cloud hedging on saline soil

  12. work with local gardener and soil expert martin wynne on soil improvement using fungus and bacteria and on carbon-fixing



The new efficiency but with a heritage building and in a drying climate

rule 1:   nothing leaves the property / re-use of materials where possible

  • soil from creation of underground tank and wetland used as banks (these also capture water)

  • timbers found on-site re-used for repairs, broken furniture found on site mended and re-used

  • organic waste composted or mulched


rule 2:  water is to be treasured

  • 80,000-litre underground tank as a closed loop between all roofs on the property and kitchen tank

  • totally organic garden zoned for water requirements, with drip irrigation, heavy mulching and compost made on-site

  • a wetland across the bottom of the meadow to collect water


rule 3:  energy use is to be contained and renewable where possible*

  • solar panels on the workshop roof (currently connected to the grid)

  • hot water / cooking/ hydronic heating from slow combustion stove now supported by condensing gas boiler

  • wood for stove and fires largely from fallen tree limbs on property with tree planting continuing

  • extensive draft-proofing throughout, including of fireplaces, between floorboards

  • window and door coverings

  • strategic deciduous tree and vine planting to north and west (red oaks and ornamental grapes) for summer shade, winter sun

  • energy efficient electrical equipment

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