TERROIR were invited to contribute a temporary installation at the vineyard of Stefano Lubiana as part of a 2 day “wine trail” festival encompassing Tasmanian wineries. Large-scale public art enables our practice to explore the balance between architecture, culture and landscape.
Our work is underpinned by the marks we make in the landscape. However, where architecture can often be burdened by “use”, “budget” and “building”, the opportunity exists within the art realm to make comparably “pure” investigations. Furthermore, the temporary nature of this installation means it is, in fact, a “sketch” - a sketch that acknowledges the notion of the weekend “trail” and this particular vineyard setting.
We chose to create a large-scale sketch in the landscape - a miniature trail in itself mirroring the “wine trail” theme of the 2 day festival. Rather than focusing on the quality wine on offer, we encourage an understanding of the terroir, of the complete environment. Like a simple line in an art gallery, our line is inflated to a landscape sized organizing element. However, unlike the demarcation purpose in the gallery, our line wanders into the inaccessible to provide curiosity and interest in the greater setting beyond the road to the cellar door.
At a basic level, the line is a guide, providing an indication of the vineyard at the main road and leading visitors up the hill. At the end of the day, having enjoyed the Lubiana hospitality and wine, the line will help visitors find their way home - in true “Hansel and Gretel” tradition. A two-day installation in a working winery such as Lubiana’s required a ‘grander vision’ rather than a miniature response which would also be lost in the expansive landscape setting of the vineyard. The landscape response is informed by aspects of that place:
- The “hands-on” approach to winemaking at Stephano Lubiana led us to consider the mark left by the hand of the “master”. In our case, our “sketch” is the mark left by us as architects;
- Just as the Lubiana graphic of a cursive handwriting relies on the flow of a continuous line, our continuous line wavers across the landscape as a giant Lubiana “logo”.
- The lines’ bright orange colour is a deliberate reference to Lubiana’s previous disagreement with the Champagne house Veuve Cliquot who took exception to Lubiana’s use of a similar colour on his labels.
As architects we are concerned with the physical and cultural context. This demands an installation made specifically for this place rather than the placement of a previously made work in the hope that some relation can be drawn between the two. However, when compared to the permanence of architectural works, a temporary installation such as this is a “sketch” - a sketch done at full size and in a landscape context. The “sketch” is historically important in architecture as the representation of an idea that ultimately manifests in a building. Whereas in painting, the “subject” of the artwork is said to exist prior to its representation, in architecture the reverse is the case - the drawings and sketches must exist before the building can be a reality. Subsequently, the architect’s sketch has become a much contested device, at times a mythical construct that lies at the core of an architect’s “genius”.
Photography by Jenny Walker and Richard Eastwood