Art meets science: exhibition shares artistic perspectives of research voyage to sub-Antarctic

A multidisciplinary exhibition will transport audiences to uncharted waters of the Southern Ocean when it opens at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) Exhibition Space in Hobart on Friday, 11th August, at 5:30pm.

Part of National Science Week, the exhibition will be open 9am– 5pm, Monday to Friday, at the IMAS Waterfront building, 20 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point, until 8 September.

Backscatter – Voyage of the Investigator is an exhibition featuring sculptural, photographic and moving image works by choreographer James Batchelor, photographer Pete Harmsen and visual artist Annalise Rees.

The trio joined a scientific voyage led by IMAS to the volcanic Heard and McDonald Islands in early 2016 to explore the connection between iron produced by undersea volcanos and the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen.

The voyagers were lucky to witness the eruption of Big Ben on Heard Island during the voyage and the works featured provide artistic insight into Australia’s most remote marine territory by sharing their experiences of being at sea for two months aboard a scientific research vessel.

Professor Mike Coffin, Chief Scientist of the Investigator voyage and a geophysicist at IMAS, worked alongside the artists at sea for two months. “The IMAS tagline is translating nature into knowledge; this exhibition serves that goal by communicating our Southern Ocean research to audiences unreachable via scientific publications or conferences,” Professor Coffin said.

The exhibition will be opened by Dr Tara Martin from the CSIRO, who was Chief Geophysicist on the voyage.

IMAS will also host a public forum as part of the exhibition on Wednesday, 6 September, 6:30-7:30pm, discussing artistic and scientific collaboration.

Image:  Choreographer James Batchelor aboard the Investigator - photographed by Charles Tambiah

Published on: 07 Aug 2017 9:50am