The Avoca Project is an international art project of renowned Australian artist Lyndal Jones in regional Victoria, Australia, centred on Watford House. Referred to locally as ‘The Swiss House’, this pre-fabricated gold-rush residence was imported from Germany in 1850. Jones presents the house to us as an immigrant, its European glamour now faded by the harshness of the climate and the decreasing services that are the result of globalisation and climate extremes in rural Australia.
Jones is an artist who focuses on context and place through very long-term projects. Through the Avoca Project she works with the local community and national and international artists, scholars and climate change experts to develop a series of works of art to heighten this image of the house as immigrant, weathered but resilient, and the place, the land, the landscape as a site of climate change and response.
Parallel research projects with climate change experts and artists are developing other artworks as indicators of water and power useage. Together these works will become part of the house and its site, combining to create a large-scale, poetic image of resilience to climate change in a small country town, where climate change action becomes viable by focusing on the specifics of place. This project takes place over 10 years (2005-2015) and includes land works, exhibitions, performances, film showings, concerts and symposia.
Carbon Arts has collaborated with Lyndal Jones and the Avoca Project through our Cross(x) Species Adventure Club: the Australian Safari, where Lyndal brought local soil expert and scientist, Martin Wynne to collaborate with us. Together we hosted produced the event: Soiree of Earthly Delights: exploring soil futures.