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Propositions for an Uncertain Future: five responses, through art, to a fountain without water

From March to August 2010, the Mockridge Fountain in Melbourne’s City Square was the site of a special, one-off public art project, conceived by artist Lyndal Jones.

Lyndal Jones worked for five years on her series Propositions for an Uncertain Future, seeking to address different aspects of climate change.

Five responses, through art to a fountain without water, was one project of this series. In the tradition of billboard projects, it temporarily transformed a de-activated fountain, providing a unique opportunity for artists to explore this specific site and very complex topic. You can view current and past artworks in the photo gallery.

Throughout this project, five artists each created an individual response to this central site, before being returned to its original function as a water fountain.


Breath of the Earth, Gayle Maddigan
black and white photograph
The death of trees is a powerful witness and testimony to the travail of the earth, akin to a woman in labour.

RED FRAGMENTS (12 out of millions), Carl Michael von Hausswolff
12 monochrome paintings reviewing global events of horror and shame.

Wild Cries Wild Wings of Wetland and Swamp, John Wolseley
oil painting with waterproof varnish on ply wood
An exuberant eruption of water birds painted in silhouette flying up to the sky.

How Long Can I Hold This Up?, Simone Slee
bill posters – ink jet on paper
This ongoing project documents the artist holding up a white placard with the question 'How Long Can I Hold This Up?' in various everyday public locations around the world, playing with the concept of how we sustain what it is that we do.

Whispering Wall, Lyndal Jones
solar–powered audio work for multiple speaker system and listeners
Lean into the wall and listen... optimists, catastrophistis, avoiders and sceptics... mutterings and murmurings from a waterwall without water.



Concept by Lyndal Jones
Commissioned by City of Melbourne's Public Art Program
Carl Michael von Hausswolff is a guest of the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.
Lyndal Jones is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.
Simone Slee is represented by Sarah Scout, Melbourne.

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Artwork of man walking in front of birds and orange sky

Wild Cries Wild Wings of Wetland and Swamp, John Wolseley