Authors: Amaia Sanchez-Velasco, Gonzalo Valiente and Jorge Valiente
Margarita is an animal-object, a cow-table, a travelling parliament. She has political connotations, overlapping cultural meanings and a questionable functionality. The design was initially commissioned by the New Landscapes Institute to be exhibited at ‘The Long Paddock’, an exhibition that took place in 2017 at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.
Margarita was part of a set design that represented the material transformations that the Travelling Stock Routes have experienced along with the industrial globalisation of the farming sector. She was exhibited as part of a series of found objects and hybrid furni-tectures that were assembled building an interactive narrative space. The installation invited users to break the boundary between audience and artwork. It called visitors to take an active role and get immersed in the interior space of a recreated cultural landscape.
Soon, Margarita acquired autonomy and was accepted as part of a community of artists, architects, curators, lawyers and activists that gathered around her to discuss the past, present and future of the Travelling Stock Routes. Travelling outside the gallery with them, she proved to have the tactile qualities of a living creature, the gracious appealing of a domestic animal and the sensual qualities of a well-designed piece of furniture.