Multi-award winning Australian musician and composer David Bridie and renowned visual artist and photographer Keith Deverell have been awarded the 2021 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship.
Together, Bridie and Deverell will record and film the continent’s natural soundscapes and stories to create an immersive audio-visual art installation and accompanying music album that captures and embodies Antarctica.
The installation will involve multi-screen floor and wall projections of abstracted footage and photographs, presented in an enclosed space, approximately ten metres by ten metres, with accompanying surround soundscape. The soundscape will be comprised of recorded natural sounds from Antarctica melded with composed music, spoken word pieces and songs, both new and archival.
The resulting work will be a half hour audio-visual projection presented on loop, and the soundscape will be released as a CD and digital audio download album.
“I regard this as one of the most fabulous artistic opportunities I have been given and look forward to diving right in,” said Mr Bridie. “I am honoured to be awarded the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship. I look forward to immersing myself in the sounds and stories that resonate from this place and create a piece of work that reflects the history, science, unique beauty and geography of the only continent where people never lived.”
The partnership will deliver an interesting and unique immersive experience of Antarctica and is designed to provoke thought and action in new and broad audiences.
“The Antarctic Arts Fellowship means so much to me as an artist because Antarctica is a place you think you will never get to see, just like space,” said Dr Deverell.
“Antarctica is so pivotal to the world, it is the source of so many crucial systems, oscillations and reverberations, to stand within them, experience them and interact with them is something very special.”
The Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship has been running since 1984 and is supported by the Australian Antarctic Division with support from ANAT.
This year the Australian Antarctic Division will also support an Engagement Project. Tasmanian artist and writer Jennifer Cossins will write and illustrate a new non-fiction children’s book in her award-winning A-Z series, called A-Z of Antarctica. It will feature all aspects of Antarctic life, including animals, environment, scientific research, history and lifestyle of expeditioners. It aims to inspire the next generation to understand, love and care for Antarctica.
"I am so excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity; to experience the wonders of Antarctica first-hand, and then to create a children's book to inspire future generations - it's a dream come true!" said Ms Cossins.
Depending on COVID-19 impacts on the Australian Antarctic Program, it is hoped that Mr Bridie, Dr Deverell and Ms Cossins will travel south in the 2021/22 Antarctic season.
The call for Expressions of Interest for the 2022 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship, for the 2022/23 season, will open today on 1 March 2021 at https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-us/antarctic-arts-fellowship/.