Henry Moore Pond Transformed into Paddling Pool

January 13 2022

Image of Henry Moore Pond Transformed into Paddling Pool

Picture: AHN Reader

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

While the world has been obsessing over the travel blunders of an international tennis star, a reader has been in touch with another very strange happening in Australia.

The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne have recently transformed their reflecting pond, centred on Henry Moore's Figure of a Draped Seated Woman, into a pink paddling pool. This is part of the gallery's Summer Nights 'DJ, Dining, Bar and French Cinema' experience.

Our reader writes:

This summer, the director, in his ongoing efforts to turn the gallery into a theme-park/selfie zone/childcare centre, has had the water coloured pink and designated it a wading pool.  Which reduces the Moore sculpture to an oversized garden ornament.

The gallery have explained the 'installation' as the following:

Referencing Sir Roy Grounds’s open-air courtyards in the original design of NGV International, this architecture and landscape installation comprises two key design elements: a body of indigenous plants and a body of water. The body of water is coloured pink, making direct reference to the many inland salt lakes in Victoria and highlighting the scarcity, importance and political implications of water as a natural resource.


Envisioned as a space that becomes part the NGV garden rather than a separate architectural object, pond[er] invites audiences to move through a series of interconnected walkways and accessible platforms. Visitors can immerse themselves within and explore the spaces of flora and water and can even step down and wade through the pink pond.



One can't help but hope that someone will save this fine Henry Moore from the pink sludge. Of course, galleries should be places where visitors can have fun. But, if pink paddling pools are the best way to achieve it, then surely the gallery should consider turning itself into a Leisure Centre.

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