Treatment Flighlines is a public art project that makes innovative connections. Through sight, sound, smell, community, performance, film, photography, sculpture and installation take a bio-diverse journey around the Western Treatment Plant.
Ten artists in total. April 22 and 29th, 2017.
Discovery Centre, Melbourne Water, Western Water Treatment Centre, LOT 1 New Farm Rd, Werribee VIC 3030, Australia
Louis Helbig – Backgrounder
Flightlines – TREATMENT 2017 – is Louis Helbig's first project in Australia. Louis Helbig is a Canadian artist, aerial photographer, author and pilot. He moved in 2016 with his family to Melbourne where his spouse, Dr. Kristin Reimer, is a Lecturer at Monash University.
Well know for his work in Canada on the Alberta Tar/Oil Sands and the historical legacies of the St Lawrence Seaway project (a mega-project similar in vintage and intent to the Great Snowy Scheme), Louis Helbig uses the aerial perspective to create striking imagery which patterns, forms, compositions and abstractions interpret or re-interpret how we see, understand and imagine landscapes.
In his contribution to Flightlines Louis Helbig engages the intersections between the functional, massive man-made structures and technologies created to process Melbourne's sewerage and the natural spaces and processes they are beholden to.
The plant connects the reservoirs in the mountains and hills of Melbourne to the sea, the endpoint of an immense web of water mains and sewer lines without which life, in modern Melbourne, would be impossible. It crudely and imperfectly enlarges and replicates what has always sustained life, culture and civilisation around Port Philip.
The Treatment plant is largely unknown to those that it serves. It is imagined and understood more by its borders – the lines that surround it – than by what is within those borders. It is along and between two riverlines, Little River and Werribee River. Its borders enclose Lake Borrie. It is beside 15km of Princes Highway, an almost perfectly straight roadline between Melbourne and Geelong. It touches the sea along a full 19km of Port Phillip shoreline (as long as the Eastern suburbs between Port Melbourne and Black Rock). It is between two flightlines, the runways and control zones of Avalon and Point Cook Airports.
In his presentation Louis Helbig will arrange his aerial photographs on the walls and floor of Melbourne's Discovery Centre, the welcoming venue for the Treatment Exhibition. Helbig’s presentation will include using of an immense floor based aerial photograph map of the entire Melbourne region, which similar to but pre-dating Google Earth, will help viewers situate their own places and spaces in relation to the Western Water Treatment Plant and Helbig's photographs.