What do a novelist, an Austrian artist, a Rhodes scholar, a nature writer and photographer, a visual artist and a natural history writer have in common?

The answer is they will all be heading down to the Australian Antarctic stations this summer to use their creative skills as artists and writers to help us better understand the frozen continent.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, announced today the six winners of the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowships.

“Conveying the magnificence of the Antarctic is an important task as most people will never travel there,” Dr Stone said.

“This Fellowship is a once in a lifetime and life-changing experience for the artists selected.

“Australia is custodian of over 42 per cent of the last great wilderness and we are dedicated to preserving, repairing and better understanding it.”

The Australian Government’s Antarctic Division will host six people in Antarctica. Each trip is valued between $34,000 and $76,000. The Fellowships:

  • Danielle Wood: A journalist and winner of the 2002 Vogel literary award plans to write her second fiction book set on Macquarie Island.
  • Nin Brudermann: An Austrian artist based in New York, is working on a worldwide project of images taken of and from weather balloons launched from remote places.
  • Tim Low: A widely published nature writer and photographer, will document the ecological and geological links between Australia and Antarctic through a book on birds from the two continents.
  • Sue Lovegrove: A PhD qualified visual artist with works in the National Gallery of Victoria and Parliament House, will complete a series of 15 to 20 paintings.
  • Elle Leane: A Rhodes scholar with a PhD from Oxford University will study the links between science and literature, particularly science fiction and utopias.
  • Bernadette Hince: A natural history writer and science editor will compare and contrast the ecological history of the sub-Antarctic islands of France, New Zealand and Australia.

Almost 70 people have travelled to Antarctica under the Arts Fellowship program since it began in 1984 including Andrew Denton (1993–4), Tim Bowden (1988–89) and Nikki Gemmell (1995–96).