Grottspace is an art gallery constructed using a computer game engine. The virtual space is a 3D reconstruction of a 19th century grotto, originally constructed by Australian colonial public servant and entomologist, Alexander McLeay. Grottspace will present digital exhibitions by a series of Australian artists in a gallery that seeks to provide a provocative cultural context.

Grottspace will be launched as part of SafARI 2016 - an artist run satellite exhibition to the Sydney Biennale.

Screenshot from development process

Screenshot from development process

Screenshot from development process

One of my site photos from August 2015

A bit about Grottspace

This project creates an art gallery based on the principal that an exhibition space cannot avoid its geopolitical inheritance. The sandstone grotto this project is based on survives to this day, nestled underneath a suburban car park in Sydney. If the white cube performs neutrality by disguising it’s Protestant, Victorian and Modernist past, Grottspace announces it’s political contamination by defining itself alongside the property laws of 18th century England, the Enlightenment mentality behind the estate garden, and how these are inseparable from the context of colonialism and dispossession.

Grottspace will be a playable 3D computer game environment comprising three curated spaces. The antechamber will be a large white-tiled platform that recalls the utopian architectural propositions of 1970s groups such as Superstudio. In this case, the square white tiles signify the impossibility of political neutrality – the squares rationalise and colonise. The staircase is modelled directly from the surviving staircase in Sydney – one of the oldest stone staircases in the city. The descent of the player can be augmented by curated sounds, objects and obstacles. The grotto is the main exhibition space, where digitally recreated artworks will be installed.

In producing Grottspace, I will am inviting emerging Australian artists to exhibit their work within the curated sections of this computer game gallery. This project will share the work of emerging Australian artists with an international audience, and also provide a challenging geopolitical environment for the presentation of Australian contemporary art.