Living Data

Living Data

Evolving conversations  

University of Technology, Sydney Main Entrance Foyer, 3 Sept 2014 - 20 Nov 2014
In Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney3-12 Sept 2014

Presentations INDEX
COMMENTS

  Catherine Nolan

Part of the problem with getting people to engage with climate change is that it exists mainly as an idea that comes to us through science, and many people hold the communications of science at a remove from their everyday lives. Climate change is not yet integrated into our society culturally, through the arts. Engaging with climate change through art gives us a chance to bring this topic into an accessible, human-scaled arena.

 

Catherine Nolan
Marine Data Set April - July 2014
Oceanic form 02
One of series. Paint on wood panel

 

Story:

I wanted to understand the effects of climate change on oceans and reefs. In order to do that I had to investigate how these complex systems function. I did research; reading, looking at pictures and taking notes. I started to draw and paint aspects of my research that really captured my imagination. The primary motivation of my work is to convey a sense of wonder and awe at the natural environment. So many of the processes that are essential to life are invisible to the naked eye. In taking the time to pay attention to these processes and capture their essence, either observationally or intuitively, I hope to draw people's attention to the natural world, and by extension, to evoke their interest in helping to preserve it. I chose the aquatic environment because in the past I have done a lot of scuba diving, and the magical strangeness of the underwater world has stayed with me, leaving me feeling fiercely protective as I see the depredations our carelessness inflicts.

 

Acknowledgements:

I gratefully received ongoing support and feedback about my proposal from Dr Lisa Roberts and Dr Andrea Leigh. I am also grateful to Dr Christian Evenhuis, who patiently answered my questions about the nature of data and how results are extrapolated from it, and whose discussions I very much enjoyed throughout the project, to PhD candidates Kirralee Bakerer, Charlotte Robinson, Dale Radford and Arjun Vema, for sharing their inspiring and stimulating research so generously, to fellow artist Leanne Thomson, for bringing the depth of the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean to my attention through her own work, and to Anita Marosseky whose tireless support gave us a structure in which we could meet and share.

Arousing our connection to the *sacred in the mundane* speaks to our highest levels of responsibility. In this age of individuality, the next step is also to re-discover our connectedness to the group, & by extension, to all of 'nature' which sustains us.

Part of the problem with getting people to engage with climate change is that it exists mainly as an idea that comes to us through science, and many people hold the communications of science at a remove from their everyday lives. Climate change is not yet integrated into our society culturally, through the arts. Engaging with climate change through art gives us a chance to bring this topic into an accessible, human-scaled arena.

Catherine Nolan

 

Status of current work, Marine Data Set: possibly ongoing, with stage 1 complete.
Details: Watercolour, gouache, pencil, trace, biology text book pages, cotton, cloth, beads, seeds, sequins, human teeth, hair, fingernails and detritus found on the beach, on 30 balsa wood panels, each 10 x 15 cm, designed for hanging in a grid.

Bio: Catherine is passionate about all things natural, organic and colourful. She works primarily in series, and loves the evolution and deepening that happens along the way. Catherine studied visual art at the Canberra School of Art from 1987 to 1991. As well as working with Living Data, Catherine has also recently been involved in a public art project with Woollahra Council: http://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/community/arts_and_culture/public_art_projects/traffic_signal_box_project

Affiliations: Dr Lisa Roberts UTS, Dr Andrea Leigh UTS, Dr Christian Evenhuis UTS.
URL: catwork.weebly.com
Contact:fortunasix@gmail.com

Further engage: Follow Catherine's website: catwork.weebly.com.
See her work for sale at Art Pharmacy: artpharmacy.com.au.