Worlding with Oysters
On June 16 it was announced that I have been awarded a Create Australia Council Grant to support my visual art practise. I am thrilled to announce this and look forward to sharing my practise as the year progresses.
Why Sydney Rock Oysters?
Since working in the Science Faculty at UNSW Sydney in 2017, my professional art practice has nestled into the nexus between art and science, with a focus on the oyster. In 2018, I met UNSW Indigenous Scientia Fellow Dr Laura Parker (Wiradjuri) when she presented her dynamic research that mapped the ways in which oysters struggle to adjust to climate change. Meeting her and listening to the dire projections about the plight of Sydney’s oysters inspired me to shift my artistic practise to embrace arts activism, science communication and art works for change. In 2019, I secured the Australian Network Art Technology (ANAT) Synapse Artist in Residency funding and spent the year as the oyster artist in residence in Biological Earth and Environmental Science at UNSW. The residency culminated in academic publications, a community reef-building event; songs, poetry, lectures, workshops, a keynote for the Biosciences Education Australia Network Conference at the University of Melbourne; an exhibition at Culture at Work Art/Science Research Hub in Pyrmont and a commissioned performance at the University of Sydney for prominent oyster researcher Professor Pauline Ross.
What has been your experience of lock down?
To work professionally as an artist is sometimes a precarious place. It means sporadic income, applying for grants, hoping to sell art works from yearly exhibitions and relying on the good will of clients to invest in buying visual work, attend workshops and support the centrality of the creative arts in our daily worlding. In February I relocated to lutruwita Tasmania to care for family and lost most of my income, access to materials, gallery supports and buyer networks.
In 2020 my creative research dialogues continue to be supported by UNSW through an Adjunct Associate Lecturer role. This provides access to a lab/studio space and guidance from the UNSW Centre for Marine Science and Innovation alongside vital exposure to observe experiments that test the impacts of climate change and environmental stress on marine life.
In August I begin recording the three songs that I have written in lock down. They explore my Worlding with Oysters theme as I begin to prepare for my multi disciplinary exhibition in October 2020.
Anton Rehrl of Corvid Photography will continue to be working with me on digital outreach and I will be recording in Margate at Reel to Reel Studios for the first time and Oliver Gathercole will accompany me on the grand piano. Local photographer Nigel Richardson has agreed to photograph the experience and so watch this space for more images.
Please reach out, view my work, share an oyster story and create a connection.
Digitised galleries of my work can be viewed through the following links: