Arne Hendriks (Netherlands) & Mike Thompson (United Kingdom)

Do we really understand fat? 

In November 2017, the 130-tonne ‘Monster of Whitechapel’ was ejected from the bowels of east London. This fatberg  a congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies  stretched the length of nearly two AFL footy ovals, taking workmen armed with shovels and high-powered jets three weeks of around the clock effort to extract. 

Fat is perhaps THE iconic substance of our time. It is integral to life, health, energy, beauty, ecology and consumption. But what is fat if its behaviour becomes unpredictable, overtaking not only ourselves but our sewage systems? Do we understand fat, or do we need a fresh perspective? 

To begin answering this question, artists Arne Hendriks and Mike Thompson invite you to join them at Testing Grounds to build Australia's first purpose-built island of fat, and to ask – What is fat? What does it want? What is fat's future? And do we really know fat? 

Will you help it grow? We want your waste fat, so stayed tuned to our social media to find out ways to contribute. 


31 JULY–3 AUGUST 2019 
Fatberg artists on site creating the work: Wednesday to Saturday 11am–6pm

7–15 AUGUST 2019 
Completed fatberg on display: Wednesday to Saturday 11am–6pm 

Fatberg artists will also be involved in the First Friday Night and FAT SANDWICH: Jaffle Symposium events at Testing Grounds 


About the contributor(s): 

Arne Hendriks (Netherlands) & Mike Thompson (United Kingdom)

Arne is a researcher, artist and curator who explores the edges of specific cultural values that define our relationship with the planet. In Arne’s opinion, we should open our minds to radical new ideas and disruptive practices.  

Mike is a designer, researcher and educator, drawn to the dark corners of bio-technological research. He is co-founder of experimental, art / design research collective Thought Collider. Together, Arne and Mike are known as the agents driven to build the world’s first floating island of fat – the Fatberg in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 


Photo credit: Hanneke Wetzer