Treatment: Six Public Artworks at the Western Treatment Plant, 2017

Treatment was a public art project that brought together six Australian artists who each developed temporary commissions in response to the extraordinary Melbourne Water Treatment Facility in Werribee, west of Melbourne. Invited by curator David Cross and associate curator Cameron Bishop to research the site across its many contexts, Catherine Bell, Bindi Cole Chocka, Megan Evans, Shane McGrath, Técha Noble and Spiros Panigirakis each created a place-responsive artwork that was experienced sequentially via a coach tour over two Saturdays in November 2015. The projects took place across an assortment of locations at the 10,000-hectare facility drawing on the rich diversity of geographical, technological and cultural histories of the former Metropolitan Sewage Farm.

Treatment’s use of gold throughout is in celebration of, and riffing off, the alchemical processes these artists went through to literally turn shit (the old sewage farm) into gold (the six place-responsive artworks). The book structurally and materially takes the reader on the bus tour of these works, in a series of photo essays from that perspective. In between these photo essays are a series of texts and some of the archival material that informed the artists. The idiosyncratic typography, inverted materiality (coated for text, uncoated for photographs) and emoji cover all point to the rich irreverence of the projects and curation.


  • 320pp book
  • Printed in alternating sections of full colour on a bulky cream paperback paper, and gold ink on a thin matte coated paper.
  • Type: Traulha by Joann Minet, Girott by Radim Peško and Monotype Grotesque.
  • Published by Surpllus