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Art meets science: exhibition shares artistic narrative of research voyage to sub-Antarctic

Backscatter opening

A multidisciplinary exhibition is transporting audiences to uncharted waters of the Southern Ocean, after opening at the Makers’ Workshop in Burnie on Friday, 17 March.

Backscatter – Voyage of the Investigator is a visual narrative of the artists who joined a scientific voyage led by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) to the volcanic Heard and McDonald Islands in early 2016 to explore a hypothesis linking volcano-supplied undersea iron to the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen.

A photographer, science photographer, visual artist, choreographer and an igneous petrologist aboard the research vessel Investigator collaborated to create a multi-media collection of works showcasing unique perspectives of the remote environment.

Cradle Coast campus Arts and Public Programs Coordinator Joanna Gair said the exhibition had been months in the making and congratulated the artists.

“This is an important exhibition which provides meaningful insight into how science and art can thrive in shared territories, and the quality of the work was appreciated immediately by Ten Days on the Island, which included it in its 2017 program,” Ms Gair said.

Professor Mike Coffin, Chief Scientist of the Investigator voyage and a geophysicist at IMAS, said he was excited to be officially opening the exhibition to the public after working alongside the artists at sea for two months.

“The IMAS tagline is translating nature into knowledge; this exhibition serves that goal by communicating our Southern Ocean research to audiences unreachable via scientific publications or conferences,” Professor Coffin said.

The artists are James Batchelor, Pete Harmsen, Annalise Rees and Charles Tambiah, and the igneous petrologist is Professor Richard Arculus. The exhibition will run as part of the Ten Days on the Island festival program until Monday, 17 April, before moving to the Academy Gallery, Inveresk, on Monday, 24 April.

Pictured L-R: Annalise Rees, Artist, Professor Mike Coffin, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Joanna Gair, University of Tasmania.

Published on: 20 Mar 2017 4:20pm