Paul Johnston Architects
Questioning our presumptions is fundamental to making sense of the world. This is especially true in the making of architecture in Tasmania where the past is presented in a conclusive manner, yet the origins of settlement are hidden or disguised. Our cultural privilege today exists only at the expense of the Indigenous Palawa of lutruwita. The cultural amnesia of dispossession and genocide is perpetuated in institutions that represent cultural heritage today. And yet concepts of heritage are intimately related to notions of truth as evidenced in its buildings.
These are stories unspoken.
We propose a tactic to re-contextualize the making of colonial architecture inclusive of invasion that re-evaluates the myth of settlement from which new narratives may emerge.
Central to this inquiry are the landscapes at the heart of Aboriginal culture that were appropriated, exploited, and re-imagined as Arcadian and Picturesque places, complete with a village and church, a ‘little England’. These structures occupy prominent aspects across the countryside, marking the land, yet they remain without a critical understanding of their making.
They are now the places where such truth can be spoken.
Paul Johnston, Melika Nejad