Artistic collaborations between flying foxes and humans, live sound streams from the Amazon rainforest and stories of the traditional custodians of K’gari (Fraser Island) are among the diverse artworks currently on display in two new exhibitions at the USC Art Gallery.
Sites of Connection features works by Leah Barclay, Bloom Collective, Donna Davis, Alinta Krauth and Emma Lindsay in response to environmental research. Exhibition co-curator and Gallery Manager Megan Williams said this exhibition aimed to engage the public and raise awareness of important ecological ideas and issues.
“There are many factors threatening the health of our planet, including climate change, extinctions, and environmental degradation,” Ms Williams said.
“Research is crucial to tacking these issues. However, sometimes the research can be hard to understand.”
Alinta Krauth’s Bat Interaction uses feeding mechanisms that send signals which create things such as brushstrokes or words when bats do specific movements.
Leah Barclay’s Biosphere Soundscapes: Holocene, 2021 is an immersive audio experience featuring sounds from places as diverse as Mexico, the Amazon and the Noosa River.
“That’s why the artists in this exhibition are amazing. They use creativity to explore these important ideas and help audiences connect with important topics such as carbon cycles and climate change, soil erosion, wildlife rehabilitation, biodiversity and species loss,” Ms Williams said. The other exhibition, Reading Between the Lines: Uncovering Butchulla History in the K’gari Research Archive, is an audio-visual installation exploring the hidden stories of the traditional custodians of K’gari.
It has been curated by Butchulla woman Rose Barrowcliffe of Gympie, who was recently appointed by the State Government as the inaugural First Nations Archive Advisor at the Queensland State Archives.
The installation is a creative examination of her PhD research to bring to light to the stories of the Butchulla people concealed in the K’gari Research Archive, a collection held by USC which charts the Island’s history from colonisation to its global recognition as a World Heritage site.
“Archives can play an important role in truth-telling,” she said. “This curation explores how we can look at these historical collections with fresh eyes to find and record the experiences and perspectives of First Nations peoples.”
Both exhibitions will be on display until October 30 at the USC Art Gallery at Sippy Downs. The gallery is open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm (closed public holidays). Entry is free.