One of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, Janet Laurence, has been awarded the 2020 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship.
“I am overwhelmed with excitement to have been offered the opportunity to travel to Antarctica and make art in response to its beauty, fragility and otherworldly power,” said Ms Laurence.
Ms Laurence will spend time at Australia’s Casey research station to develop an immersive installation, tapping into both the minutiae and the expanse of the extreme environment.
Laurence’s work often uses a diverse range of materials to produce works in response to specific sites or environments. The proposed installation will be based on extensive on-site research, including photographs, video works, drawings, watercolours, and collected writings on the Antarctic landscape and Casey station.
“My aim for the project is to bring back a captivating experience of Antarctica’s preciousness and power to those that have never been,” said Ms Laurence.
“I have expectations, and yet I know that the actual experience of Antarctica will open up unknown and far-reaching possibilities."
Ms Laurence has participated in research-based artist residences in several locations across the globe, including in Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Aceh Sumatra (Fauna and Flora International) and in Australia at Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef), Healesville Sanctuary, Tasmanian Land Conservancy and the Australian Museum.
The Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship has been running since 1984 and is supported by the Australian Antarctic Division with support from ANAT.
The Australian Antarctic Division will also support a project by sound artist Dr Philip Samartzis to produce a series of high-resolution sound recordings of Mawson station and Australia’s new icebreaker RSV Nuyina to complete a sound map of the Australian Antarctic Territory.
The map expands on his work produced over two Antarctic Arts Fellowships (2010, 2016) where sound recordings were made of Casey, Davis and Macquarie Island stations, and RSV Aurora Australis. The completed sound map will span 12 years and will demonstrate how the Australian Antarctic Territory has been transformed through the introduction of new technologies, transport and building projects, as well as shifts in climate and weather due to anthropogenic change.
Due to COVID-19 impacts on the Australian Antarctic Program, Ms Laurence and Dr Samartzis will travel to the icy continent during the 2021/22 season.
The call for Expressions of Interest for the 2021 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship are now open and will close 21 September 2020. Apply at https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-us/antarctic-arts-fellowship/