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Treatment Night and Day Public art Project

posted on 2023-08-24, 05:26 authored by Cameron BishopCameron Bishop, david Cross, Maria Bates
Treatment Night and Day Public art Project



Western Treatment Plant

Start date


End date



Treatment III: Night + Day is a unique event featuring 9 newly commissioned artworks to be experienced across the remarkable Western Treatment Plant in Werribee. Celebrating a day in the life of the plant and responding to the extraordinary landscapes, technologies and communities surrounding Melbourne’s oldest and largest waste treatment facility, Treatment Night + Day will bring the site alive through live music, sculpture, film, VR and performance works from sunset on Friday 21 April to sunset on Saturday 22 April. Your Night + Day experience will begin with a 12-seater minibus adventure. Travelling from the old township of Cocoroc to the outer reaches of the plant on Port Phillip Bay, a series of place-based works will be experienced in situ. At the end of the tour, the minibus will return you back to Cocoroc, where 6 additional works will be experienced across the township site. Take your time exploring a range of multi-disciplinary works onsite or grab a snack and drink from The Fermentary and Otto van Empire.

Research statement

Background A unique curatorial and design approach to site framed this third iteration of the Treatment Public Art project with partners Melbourne Water and Wyndham City, where 25 artists/performers responded to the built and natural landscapes of the 10,000 hectare waste water treatment plant in Werribee. Fundamentally the curatorial conceit challenges the idea of site as static and/or neutral, suggesting it is one of 'becoming' (Nato Thomson, 2015), encouraging diverse audiences to share a dialogue about the elision of our waste, the built environment and nature, and public health. Contribution The curators took a 'transversal approach' to site (Nato thomson, 2015), where they broached conversations about place across multiple stakeholder groups including artists and performers, producers and technicians, engineers and biologists, historians and bureaucrats to bring into being 9 art and performance events restricted to a 24 hour time frame. Questions around the evolution of a work, and both the artists' and audiences' (of over 500) experience of it, were paramount in the journey over 30 kms by bus, and by foot, a novel way to knit diverse artists and media together to tell critical stories about our relations to place and each other. Significance The curators built partnerships with Wyndham City, Melbourne Water, and community groups, that allowed for 9 lead artists to explore critical environmental and cultural issues while providing opportunities for emerging creatives to enhance their production skills in collaborative ways. Artist Mick Douglas worked with four emerging creatives to create a sculptural, filmic and sound work that evolved over a day, while Fiona Hillary and Edwina Stevens were able to build on their PhD research. The event was featured on radio including as a long feature story on Radio National's Art Show. Several articles for journals and arts publications are in production.


Reis S, Morley R

Recognition, awards & prizes

Thjis project built on Bishop and Cross' long association with Wyndham City (contributed $40,000) + in-kind and Melbourne Water (venues and in-kind).


Treatment Night & Day


Wyndham City, Melbourne Water, Public Art Commission

Place of publication

Western Treatment Plant

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