Antarctic Outreach

Three Australian Antarctic Arts Fellows have been selected for 2007–08.

Dr Craig Cormick will undertake a four-part project during his trip to Antarctica: holding writing workshops for expeditioners and editing a collection of their writing for publication; writing non-fiction articles about Antarctica for publication in various media; writing a work of fiction exploring the interactions between Antarctic expeditioners and their societies; and developing an educational resource for Biotechnology Online on biodiversity and biodiscovery in Antarctica. Craig is an award-winning journalist and author, a popular writing tutor and a science communicator and educator. He has won several book awards including ACT Book of the Year in 1999 and a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award in 2006. He has lived in Iceland and Finland and in October 2007 he was the Australian delegate to the APEC Workshop on Agricultural Biotechnology Communications in Peru. His Antarctic projects aim to increase awareness and appreciation of human societies in Antarctica — past, present and future.

Nicholas Hutcheson will use his Antarctic experience to build up a body of drawings from observation, which he will use to create large scale art works in his studio. He will also establish a web site for online discussion during and after the trip to give the arts and education communities an insight into the vastness of the continent and the reality of Antarctic life. The final art works will be displayed at the Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne, and a CD or digital book will be available on his web site. Nicholas will also engage a range of audiences through presentations, studio and school visits and online discussion groups. Nicholas studied illustration and print making in London and has exhibited his work at both group and solo exhibition.

Lynette Finch is writing a biography of Syd Kirkby, a surveyor from Western Australia who first wintered in Antarctica in 1956 and who, over the next 20 years, explored and surveyed more of the Australian Antarctic Territory than any other person. Lynette is a historian and Senior Lecturer in Australian and Cultural Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Lynette’s trip to Antarctica will enable her to better recreate the setting and feel of the continent in her book. She has previously written books, papers and articles on such topics as war history and propaganda, and histories of health, and food and nutrition.

Arts Fellows out and about

Midwinter exhibition

An exhibition of community and connection to place, Antarctica — A Place in the Wilderness, by Judith Parrott, was displayed during the Midwinter Festival in Hobart in June. The exhibition was the product of an Arts Fellowship with the Australian Antarctic Division and a two month residency at Casey station in 2005–06. It included silver gelatin photographs, data projection of coloured images, text, local sounds, music, and words spoken by members of the Antarctic community. The exhibition covered aspects of life on the research vessel Aurora Australis, science, the environment, station community life, an Antarctic Christmas and visits to Mawson and Davis stations.

Slicing the Silence

The latest book by Tom Griffiths, Professor of History in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, and a former Antarctic Arts Fellow (2002–03) has been widely acclaimed. Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica, published by UNSW Press and Harvard University Press, was launched by Sir Guy Green in Hobart on 23 May, with the support of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Australian Antarctic Division. In the book, Tom reflects on the history of human experiences in Antarctica, taking the reader on a journey of discovery, exploration, and adventure.