Conversations set out to explore Creative Antarctica

Australia’s most creative minds on Antarctica are coming together for a free series of conversations over three days at The Hedberg.

Growlers, Bergy Bits and Behemoths, a series of four talks and an immersive art installation, will bring together creatives, researchers and policy-makers to discuss the cultural and social influence of the frozen continent.

The series is being presented by the University of Tasmania’s Creative Antarctica research project as a companion to the University’s partnership with the Sydney Chamber Opera and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in the production of ANTARCTICA in concert.

“Australia has a long and rich history of creative artists producing works in response to Antarctica,” Creative Antartica’s lead Professor Elle Leane said.

“The human connection with Antarctica is diversifying, with growing tourism and more opportunities for artists to experience its unique sights, sounds and history.

“These talks aim to help us understand our creative and social connections to the far south, along with our responsibilities to this pristine environment.”

Creative Fellow in the College of Arts, Law and Education, and the composer of ANTARCTICA, Professor Mary Finsterer, will be joined by artists and researchers, and representatives of the State Government, City of Hobart, Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania and Brand Tasmania for the panel discussions.

The four topics covered will be:

  • Creative Antarctica: Exploring the creative potential of Antarctic research
  • Uncharted Soundscapes: Discovering wilderness and Antarctica in composition
  • Navigating New Courses: Hobart’s journey as a gateway to Antarctica
  • Can I Have Ice With That? Promoting and ensuring low impact tourism in pristine wilderness

The Magnetic Quiet Zone, a 40-minute audio and video work by acclaimed artists Philip Samartzis, Sean Williams and Marty Walch, will accompany the talks, immersing participants in the bracing conditions of Antarctica.

“Hobart’s place as a gateway to Antarctica is becoming more important to the city’s identity,” Professor Leane said.

“Tasmania is benefitting not only economically but also culturally, and these talks are an opportunity for us all to learn more about our long relationship with the continent and our choices for the future.”

Creative Antarctica is an Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Project focused on understanding the experiences of professional artists and writers in the Antarctic region. It includes the first comprehensive history and analysis of the Antarctic stories, sounds, and images produced by Australian artists and writers.

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