Saturday, November 3, 2018

Sharing the space: artists and scientists

I've just returned from Hobart where I had the opportunity to present and tell a story at the Australasian Shorebird Conference: Losing their habitats - conservation and management strategies for migratory and resident shorebirds - University of Tasmania Sandy Bay campus.

This was my first venture into the science space and when I tossed my hat into the ring and was accepted, I suffered a bout of imposter syndrome. However that was fleeting as I couldn't have been made to feel more welcome and relevant.

The conference was preceded with the opening of the Overwintering Project Exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre (Tasmania). The Overwintering Project is an environmental art project designed to bring visibility to Australia's most endangered group of birds - migratory shorebirds.

The project is the brainchild of print maker and curator and now friend, Kate Gorringe-Smith.

These are some examples of Kate's beautiful work.


It was pure joy telling the story of the migration of the Red-necked stint at the opening to a room of birdos. Very vocal reactions from the crowd!

Kate also had a presentation accepted and the two of us were programmed on the first day. I was disappointed that Sarah couldn't make it to the conference as she is part of the team but she was with me in spirit.
 Kate and I felt well pleased with ourselves and our contribution. We learned a LOT and met extraordinary people and heard many inspiring stories. The overall impressions I was left with was the ability of scientists and citizen scientists to work together in a space of mutual respect and the role artists can play to support the environmental message.



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