A multimedia exhibition by internationally renowned Australian artist Dr Lisa Anderson, Beguiling explores the parallel elements of beauty and destruction through the Anthropocene at the Victorian Pride Centre.
The photographs, captured over many years including from visits to the Arctic and Antarctic, have been altered through scarring with wax and burns, customised infrared filters and different printing surfaces, along with image twinning to suggest themes of eternity and disaster warning.
The result is a red hue that is reminiscent of the recent Australian bushfires which trapped people on beaches. The photographs hint at the measures we use in the Doomsday Clock made by scientists to demonstrate human impacts on Earth, which is now set at 90 seconds to midnight.
The videos rely strongly on the images and rhythms of folklore and myth that are used across cultures to explain the world of nature, as earth, fire and air are anthropomorphized as dangerous and beautiful, enticing, alluring and as a signal of destruction.
“My works bring together the remote locations of the Arctic and Antarctic regions alongside the infrared based images of Port Phillip combined with layers of climate science, landscape, lost places, film references and lots of folklore and legend from various cultures which are used to explain the world, the weather the land and sea… and the belief in another world in the periphery of our vision,” said Dr Anderson.
Dr Anderson research, image creation and exhibition have been supported by Port Phillip Council as the Rupert Bunny Fellow, 2023 for the City of Port Phillip. Rupert Bunny was an Australian artist born in St Kilda in 1864 and died in 1947.
Bunny was highly respected as an artist in Europe, living much of his live in Paris and exhibiting with both the French and English Academies. Bunny often created mythological elements within his major works, as has Anderson here through references to figures such as Echo and Icarus within a narrative of environmental dystopia.
Dr Anderson’s projects and international residencies explore our connection to the stewardship of the planet through histories and stories found in folklore and superstition around the world. Installations use multi-media including video/sculpture/installation to explore and engage the landscape and the built environment in dramatically changing environments pushed by geopolitics of weather and mass migration.
Dr Anderson has lectured at several Australian and International institutions and been awarded Honorary Professorship at Federation University, the Innovation Fellow in Architecture at UTS; The Creative Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Visiting Fellow at Tianjin University China and the Inaugural Fellow and Artist at the Australian Museum.
Festivals projects include Singing up Stones, the first projection on the Sydney Opera House; Writing the City in the Brisbane Festival of Big Ideas and Sydney Writers Festival; Tiga Tiga for Ten Days on the Island, Tasmania, and Venice Biennale Fringe Festival and special projects for ISEA with Istanbul Biennale, and Night Galleries, Bangkok French Embassy.
Victorian Pride Centre, 79 – 81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Exhibition continues to 5 January 2024
Image: Dr Lisa Anderson, Still from the video work Ignis Fatuss: Foolish Fire – courtesy of the Artist