During 2008 and 2009, three photographers – Carla Feltham, Michelle Maartensz and Martin Trew – were invited to photographically record the construction of the new MRAG building. Each came at a different time and with their different approach, and although they knew about each other’s projects and purposes, they worked alone and very quietly on Construction. MRAG staff, who continued to work in the original building throughout the closure, almost never saw them in or near the site. As a result, each artist has captured a contrastingly different view and responses to the structure taking shape as the new MRAG.
The aim of Construction was to capture and document the formal beauty (and perhaps the ugliness) of newly created spaces and areas as they take shape and become a recognizable reality. It is not necessarily to photograph what could be claimed as major milestones in the construction cycle. Rather, it is the moments that engaged each photographer’s eye and aesthetic sensibilities. In this way the individual images have become more than an historical record, but rather an artistic interpretation of how the final building site and the completed art gallery came into being.
Construction therefore told the story of the building through three sets of image makers in a more direct fashion than words could describe.