Treatment 2015 brought together six Australian artists to develop temporary commissions in response to the extraordinary Melbourne Water Treatment Facility in Werribee.
Curated by Professor David Cross with Associate Curator Dr Cameron Bishop, Treatment is part of an ongoing research project examining the formation of temporary communities via the commissioning of temporary public artworks. Artists spent six months developing place-responsive artworks across the 10,000-hectare facility; seeking to identify and delineate a series of resonant works by drawing on the rich diversity of geographical, technological and cultural histories of the former Metro Sewerage Farm.
Home of the first sanitation facility in Melbourne, the site’s heritage includes the abandoned former township of Cocoroc, built by the Metropolitan Board of Works to house over 700 workers and their families. The plant is also considered one of the world's leading bird sanctuaries, with hundreds of bird species living in the Ramsar-listed area.
Over 500 people travelled to the Treatment Facility on over two Saturday’s in November to experience the work of artists Catherine Bell, Bindi Cole-Choka, Megan Evans, Shane McGrath, Técha Noble and Spiros Panigarakis across the site.
A publication featuring essays by David Cross, Cameron Bishop, Dr Rebecca Coates, Director of Shepparton Art Gallery and the artists accompanied the works. Designed by Stuart Geddes, the catalogue includes a special photographic feature on the history of the Western Treatment Plant.