A new partnership between the University of Tasmania and the French Embassy of Australia culminated in a unique installation being unveiled in Launceston last week.
Over four weeks, artist Perrine Lacroix from Lyon, France, has taken up residency at the Inveresk Precinct to work on her project 22 Tools, an immersive multidisciplinary exhibit presented across the site.
Exploring humanity’s relationship with tools, it is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University and French Embassy.
The artwork will be interactive, and includes live human installations, video footage, photography, panels, billboards, stickers and sound.
Artist in Residence Ms Lacroix said inspiration for the project was drawn from Tasmania’s past as well as the cultural and historical significance of Inveresk.
“Inveresk was the place of industrial transformation and now it is a museum which showcases the evolution of tools,” Ms Lacroix said.
“However, a new tool has arrived, the computer, and with it the internet which contains thousands of tools. Inevitably, industrial and art production is no longer the same.”
University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships & Regional Development) Professor David Adams said the residency complemented the institution’s Northern Transformation project.
“Artist residencies allow us to increase our engagement with the arts and cultural sector, community, and more broadly, they can contribute to regional outcomes such as developing a capacity for creative and innovative thinking,” Professor Adams said.
“Perrine’s project is also symbolic by showcasing Inveresk as a place of transformation where arts, culture, technology and education now intersect.
University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global) Professor Monique Skidmore said the partnership with the French Embassy will allow us to explore new and exciting opportunities with an international perspective, and foster new forms of cultural exchange.
“Cultural exchange between communities is an important dimension of the University’s global connectedness. This partnership builds on our engagement with France.”
Philippe Platel, cultural attaché from Australia’s French Embassy said the embassy was proud to collaborate with the University of Tasmania for the first time.
“The Embassy established a French Artists Residency in Australia program in 2016, which aims to give French, emerging and established artists the unique opportunity to share their practice with Australian artists and communities,” Mr Platel said.
“I met Perrine Lacroix in Sydney one year ago and I immediately thought she would be an excellent candidate for this residency.
“Her very clever, subtle and accurate way to engage with others and to understand the spirit of a place was a guarantee to make this first partnership between the University of Tasmania and the Embassy of France in Australia a success.”
22 Tools will continue at Inveresk over the next fortnight and is open to the public.