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Region’s fallen iconic trees to be recreated during prestigious arts residency

John Elliott - AIR 2017

A Canadian artist and academic will travel to Tasmania in July to begin a first-of-its-kind exhibition for the North-West after securing a prestigious University of Tasmania arts residency.

Associate Professor John (Jack) R Elliott who teaches Design at Cornell University in New York, has been selected as the 2017 Cradle Coast campus Artist in Residence, becoming the first international applicant to be awarded the annual grant.

Drawing on his established career as a wood sculptor, Associate Professor Elliott will recreate felled-trees across the region in an entirely 3D printed exhibition, Paper Trees.

University of Tasmania Arts and Public Programs Coordinator Joanna Gair said the selection panel had been impressed by Associate Professor Elliott’s submission.

“We received a number of high-calibre applications this year however Paper Trees was surprising and engaging in a way we haven’t seen before, with direct relevance to the North-West by using ICT technologies to recreate three-dimensional designs of the region’s most significant trees,” Ms Gair said.

“Over four weeks, Associate Professor Elliott will digitally record outlines of recently harvested tree stumps using a hand-held scanner, process the data inside the University’s CollabLab at West Park, and subsequently ‘print’ scale model trees from a paper-based 3D printer back at Cornell University.

“The trees will then be returned to Burnie for a unique exhibition in the Makers’ Space Gallery within the Makers' Workshop.”

Associate Professor Elliott said he was already planning his upcoming visit to Tasmania to commence the creative project.

“I am very excited to be selected for this residency, not only because Tasmania is a wonderful part of the world but because this project will be moving my work into some new directions, exploring new narratives about the human/nature relationship, as expressed through trees,” Associate Professor Elliott said.

“Being situated in an academic community through this residency will also allow me to engage in some new conversations about my research and build new professional relationships.”

The Cradle Coast campus Arts Residency has been offered since 2011 and was developed to provide local, interstate and international artists with an opportunity to create work informed by Tasmania’s North-West.

Since inception, the program has attracted applications from across the globe with recipients including visual artists David Edgar, Hugo Moline, Heidi Axelsen and Ross Byers, as well as composer Dean Stevenson, whose Artist in Residence projectFacing North will debut in Burnie during March, at the Ten Days on the Island festival.

Paper Trees is expected to be exhibited in 2018.

Published on: 17 Feb 2017 4:26pm