‘Brutal Transformations’ are artworks created by Lymesmith which superimpose colour on selected Brutalist buildings in Canberra. Largely devoid of colour and decoration, Brutalism is aesthetically masculine and unyielding. The temptation to hypothetically apply colour to these monolithic structures, with their bold geometry was impossible to resist. The exhibition features Lymesmith’s Brutal Transformation 2022 and 2021 series.
The 2022 series recasts the National Carillon as Memorial to ‘Colour Lost from the Landscape’. The prints are a lament to habitat loss on the shores of the Molonglo River. Lymesmith has created colour palettes from the flora and fauna of the Critically Endangered Temperate Grassland Habitat that once flourished here and superimposed these lost landscape colours onto the National Carillon.
The work aims to stimulate discussion around how we treat our Brutalist buildings now and into the future, and about the transformative potential of colour in the built environment.
Original building photography by Jakub Beseda.
Image: Lymesmith, Carillion 05 'by which i mean', 2022. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist.