Annie Clare Tyler
University of Technology Sydney
“Memorial on Country” is a celebration of memory that privileges the continuum of culture, a common ground between faiths. It is a place that welcomes “the other”- the body, the species, the marginalised, the ghosts, and facilitates a journey for all, into Country. The chapel does not seek to be a destination on a tour of ghoul, but a place with a depth of meaning and feeling. The chapel seeks to dispel violent colonial fears: of the landscape, fire and death, as being simply bad. Instead, it welcomes these and encourages a cyclical understanding and acceptance of life and death.
The project draws upon ancient Indigenous knowledges, that have been a privilege to learn, as well as ancient materials and building techniques to create a design that sits both comfortably and uncomfortably; remaining true to the history of a spiritually and ecologically crucial, yet traumatised landscape. The project is “new” in that it embraces the old and the existing, carefully carving the resilient landscape to embed natural tributaries, materials, plants and animals into the built form, instead of obliterating the natural world to create a blank canvas and perfect plinth on which to build.