Daughter of the Swamp awarded Brick Bay Folly prize

16 March 2016
Brick Bay Folly composite
Top: the team in their winning folly. Below: Daughter of the Swamp. Photos: Samuel Harnett

Architecture graduates Alexander Sacha Milojevic and Raphaela Rose, alongside Masters of Architecture (Professional) student Ryan David Mahon and geotechnical engineer Edward Roberts have won the 2016 Brick Bay Folly Competition with their work entitled Daughter of the Swamp.

The contest encourages contemporary interpretations of the architectural folly. Follies are structures designed to enhance the landscape and had their heyday in 18th and 19th century England.

Brick Bay Sculpture Trust started the competition to encourage young emerging architects to push the boundaries between sculpture and architecture.

The winning team’s work Daughter of the Swamp is based on an enormous eel-pot or hīnaki form. Referencing mythology and Maui, who legend has it was first to catch the long eel, and his wife Hina, the daughter of the Swamp.

Adhering to folly tradition, Daughter of the Swamp provides no practical protection, only spatial definition.

Instead it offers a bright interface between the viewer and the surrounding landscape that is observed through the gaps in the inter-laced steel.

The group say their folly also ‘re-contextualises the material of the reinforcing bar. The steel, with its heavy associations of industrial progress and the modern age is put to an unexpected almost contradictory use in its emulation of a soft, traditional organic object. By overlapping and repeating forms, an effect like that of the delicately woven eel traps is achieved. It is informed by the historic hīnaki, but formed from contemporary materials and rests beside the enduring lake and swamp. It simultaneously speaks of historic cultural artefacts and our modern day material condition.’

The process for choosing the winning work is highly competitive, with a jury of architects, artists, academics, arts administrators, building experts, engineers and previous folly winners selecting one 'exceptional' project to be constructed at the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail.

The team will receive a $30,000 grant towards the cost of the folly, which will be on show to the public at the Brick Bay Vineyard for the next two years.