'Fruits of thy labor'

The Wandering Room

Melbourne, VIC

13 - 17 December 2019


Beards Building Solutions alludes to John Locke’s labour theory and our ability to own and occupy spaces of land through a moving image-based artwork. The instructional video will be presented as part of The Wandering Room's upcoming exhibition 'F-Art (Funny Art)' on the 13th of December 2019. Television programs such as ‘Gardening Australia’ uphold ideas associated with the Australian dream, perpetuating John Locke’s theory of cultivation. Locke upheld the idea that ‘uncultivated land was open to acquisition.’ This theory was used in support of colonisation in Australia, recognising the origin of terra nullius. 


"Uncultivated," Beards Building Solutions adopts Locke’s theory of cultivation by landscaping the garden of an abandoned house. The fake building company adds value to the dry and overgrown block through a set of simple gardening exercises. The moving image-based artwork recognises the importance of cultivation in increasing and maintaining value of a residential property. While landscape design adds value to a property it rejects natural and existing forms of cultivation. The on-screen exercises discuss the contradictions of John Locke’s theory on the Australian environment.  

You can watch and locate the Beards Building Solutions moving image work here: 




F-Art (Funny Art) Exhibition, December 2019. Image credit: Phoebe Beard

*Beards Building Solutions is an independent building company that supports community and co-share housing projects. Founded in 2017 by Phoebe Beard, ‘Beards Building Solutions’ was introduced due to a lack of affordable and accessible housing in Hobart. The company endorses ephemeral housing options due to a lack of security within the Australian housing market. Negative gearing and high-interest loans allow investors to enter the property market creating an unstable market. ‘Beards Building Solutions’ recognises the fragility of the Australian housing market through the use of hazardous building materials, promoting a do-it-yourself aesthetic within the building company.