“...The first step to conserving biodiversity is discovering and naming new species, as we cannot protect something properly if we don't know it exists in the environment.”
‘Yabby Estate’ is a site-specific installation correlating to “metropolitism” - the traces and gesture of metropolitan living, construction and gentrification - as an imminent and biodiversity-destructive force for rural Victoria. This work relates to the curious yet fugitive nature of the Common Yabby's residence and survival behaviour as a metaphor for native ecologically-centric resilience, reclamation and conservation.
The common Yabby is a mobile and determined creature, a resourceful and clever architect; charged with astounding resilience and strength for its ability to damage farm dams and the manufactured reservoirs whilst leaving behind its iconic chimney architectural monument - an act of ecological anarchism - to fight off post-modern/colonial structures planted in ancient and sacred ecology. The Yabby is what I consider a multi-formed manifestation of the associating invasive and vulnerable nature and consequences of real estate development overtaking the biodiversity and healthy ecosystems in rural Victoria.
The work takes advantage of the space's history of being a re-purposed entry and poses an entry into the subterrestrial residence of the Yabby mimicking that of Museology “ant-farm” maquettes, this work serves as a manufactured illustration of the horizon layers of soil, in which the Yabby burrows for survival, and additionally exhibits the quality of healthy soil that founds Gippsland.