Tim Nohe
Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier, Scott Lewis & Renuka Rajiv
Angie Black
Liz Dunn
Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmielewski
Steve Turpie
Siri Hayes

Nature in the Dark

 I love forms beyond my own and regret the borders between us.
- Loren Eiseley in 'Magic', 1972

For 60 years the Victorian National Park Association (VNPA) has been at the forefront of protecting Victoria's natural environment. It undertakes scientific studies in close co-operation with the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in order to gain a better understanding of native wild life. Employing motion-triggered surveillance cameras they are currently monitoring animals in national parks in Victoria to study how wildlife responds, long term, to fire or the absence of fire.

In co-operation with the Centre for Creative Arts, La Trobe University, photos from the study have been made available to artists as the starting point for a project that invites our own response and interpretation as we witness the unreserved behaviour of native animals in their own habitat. These interpretations will be projected into the busy day/night life cycle of Melbourne and its public spaces – our own city habitat.

Despite what we think we know about the aftermath of fire, there's surprisingly little understanding of its effects on native wildlife. Looking at the photos there is something incredibly intimate and unguarded about them. It's as if wildlife social-realism meets the monochromatic aesthetic of night vision surveillance and we are becoming voyeurs of another intelligence at work -- which we would not have encountered otherwise.

Nature in the Dark is initiated by Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier and co-curated by Maria Miranda and Jan for the Centre for Creative Arts, La Trobe University.

Participating Artists
Angie Black / Liz Dunn / Siri Hayes / Tim Nohe / Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier and Renuka Rajiv and Scott Lewis / Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski / Steve Turpie

For more information and current exhibitions of the project please visit the project website.

To see a selection of the original survey material (photographs) please click here.

Check out the  Nature in the Dark - conference: a trans-disciplinary conference on animal perception at the intersection of the arts, science and conservation - here.
Date: Saturday 4th Oct 2014
Venue: Visual Arts Centre - 121 View St, Bendigo, Vic 3550

Click here to watch the video documentation of the project launch including the keynote speech by Dr. Freya Mathews and the panel discussion with: 
- Dr. Freya Mathews, environmental philosopher
- Dr. Mike Clarke, zoologist
- Matt Ruchel, director of VNPA
- Angharad Wynne-Jones, director of Tipping Point Australia
- panel moderator Brent Clough, Radio National ABC
and others