Frazer Bull-Clark

Civic Pool


Super 8 film transferred to digital video

Music by Sam Eggins & Advait Thakur

Image courtesy of the artist


Frazer Bull-Clark is a filmmaker who grew up in Canberra and now lives in Sydney. His work has shown at film festivals and galleries around Australia and internationally. His short film Leaving Lost (2013), which examined the artist Derek O’Connor and his relationship with the suburb of Fyshwick, was a finalist in the Digital Portraiture Award at the National Portrait Gallery and screened at the National Film and Sound Archive. His collage film The Big Shave (2016) was exhibited at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Sydney Underground Film Festival and This is Not Art. In 2018 he received a Graduate Certificate in Directing from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.


Civic Pool explores the iconic local site of the Canberra Olympic Pool. Captured on Super 8 film, the grainy imagesshow three figures slowly climbing the diving board tower, one after the other, and then jumping into the water. This repeated activity is a ritual familiar to generations of Canberrans, with the diving tower holding a near mythic presence in the childhood of many. Opened in 1955, during a period of post-war development in Canberra and intense public interest in swimming and diving in the lead-up to the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the pool has remained a fixture of the city. While at the time it was considered the best aquatic centre in the country, in recent years it has not been well maintained. Reports of a major leakat the pool have led to public discussions about the future of the facility, as well as speculation that the territory government
may have plans to redevelop the site. The youthful figures inhabiting Civic Pool have a spectral quality, speaking to both its monumental history and uncertain future.

Using Format