Yabby Estate
Juan Rodriguez Sandoval
16 Sept → 22 Oct 2023

Family friendly workshop, Burrowing Humans: Notes from Yabby Architecture, 7 Oct, 12 – 3 am

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.

Now showing in the West Space Window, Yabby Estate by Juan Rodriguez Sandoval a site-specific installation exploring 'metropolism'—traces of metropolitan living, construction and gentrification—as a destructive force for rural Victoria.

Yabby Estate positions the curious, fugitive nature of the common yabby's residence and survival behaviour as a metaphor for native ecologically-centric resilience, reclamation and conservation.

The yabby is a mobile and determined creature—a resourceful and clever architect—charged with astounding resilience and strength for its ability to damage farm damns and manufactured reservoirs, leaving behind an iconic chimney architectural monument. Juan considers this an act of ecological anarchism, fighting off colonial structures planted in an ancient and sacred ecology.

Yabby Estate explores the sub-terrestrial residence of the yabby in a manner that mimics a museological 'ant-farm' maquette. Taking up residence in the Window, the work illustrates the layers of soil in which the yabby burrows for survival, and the healthy soil that founds Gippsland.

Read on in The Waltz of the Yabby by Chantelle Mitchell and Jaxon Waterhouse.

West Space Window is supported by City of Yarra and viewable during all Collingwood Yards open hours. Yabby Estate was proudly and respectfully made on Brayakaulung country.

Juan Rodriguez Sandoval is a Guatemalan-born Latin-Australian artist based in Brayakaulung country, South East Gippsland, Victoria. Juan employs imaginative world-building to explore and expose the issues faced by displaced people, borders, and movements, with a focus on environmental sovereignty; including animal and organic matter.

Juan primarily works with earthly, bio-organic matter, and found materials, which he believes are living organisms with unique properties of geographic and historical significance. Juan believes in sustainable approaches to art-making, and recycles and up-cycles materials through contemporary technologies, unorthodox methods and curious presentations to create a consensus and reflective experience that reminds the spectator about ecological awareness, culture, and sustainable approaches to art-making.