The splish-splash of water isn't something you'd usually expect to find much of inside the walls of a gallery, but that's all set to change as NGV Australia pays homage to one of our great Australian icons: the swimming pool. Opening on August 18, The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity will explore this cultural symbol in all its glory, with the help of a multi-sensory, 11-metre pool installation, set up within the gallery's Design Studio.
The free interactive exhibition will play with water, sound, light and scent to highlight the connection between culture, landscape and architecture. It'll look the real deal, too, complete with wooden decking and sun lounges — and visitors will even be allowed to dip their feet in for a refreshing paddle. This is the first time the installation has come to Australia after showing at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Further emphasising the swimming pool's link to our national identity, eight pool 'lanes' will each feature an audio excerpt from a high-profile Aussie figure, sharing their own nostalgia-tinged, pool-inspired stories. This will include The Slap and Barracuda (good pre-exhibition pool-related reading, by the way) author Christos Tsiolkas and Aussie rock god Paul Kelly, through to Olympic gold medalists Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe.