gary deirmendjian selected works

strata - newington armory 2012


click for album



:::: invited artist, EXCAVATION - Armory Exhibition 2012, Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park
:::: Pedro de Almeida, exhibition curator
:::: site specific installation
:::: 12m x 7m, variable height and depth; dimensions include 4m x 4m square hole, earth mound, rolled turf on pallet and barrier system
:::: mixed media - discarded household items and rubbish (including whitegoods toys electrical equipment and consumables), earth, turf, hazard barrier systems and other
:::: battery powered transistor radio set to ABC - Radio National was placed within the pit and functioned until batteries ran out, helping to anchor the proposition
     in time and place to site


artist statement

The beds we're making ...



curator's statement

Engaging with Homebush Bay’s history of being a site for the illegal dumping of waste from the 1950s until its remediation in the 1990s as part of the development for the Sydney Olympic Games, Gary Deirmendjian’s strata – newington armory is both a literal and symbolic excavation.

A trench has been dug in which the artist has filled an assemblage of discarded household items and rubbish actually collected from the streets that acts as a kind of reverse sinkhole, an aperture from which we encounter regurgitated evidence of our consumerist culture’s unsustainable use of resources and exploitation of all the earth yields.

This work is related to Deirmendjian’s previous work strata 2011 (click), a similar site-specific installation that incorporated the heritage listed Willoughby Incinerator, originally designed by Walter Burleigh Griffin in 1930-38 and like Newington Armory recently converted into an art space, that made use of the opportunities presented by the internal Modernist architectural spaces of a structure once dedicated to the incineration of waste.




Tony Nesbitt (Manager, Arts Programming, Sydney Olympic Park Authority) thank you for your trust and support. Your commitment to the realisation of the "unconventional", the "challenging" or the "difficult" is rare in arts facilitation and is certainly appreciated.

Pedro de Almeida thank you for your clarity, substance and professionalism. Your rounded support of the work from intent proposal to realisation has been a source of strength.

To Nathan Mitchell and team (particularly Jess and Robert) from Naturewise, having you on board has been a complete luxury. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to making it happen, especially in the face of such testing weather.



click YouTube logo to watch movie strata