Sunday, August 12, 2018

Art Meets Science Exhibition: 10 August - 7 September 2018

'Untitled (Northern Bettong project)', donna davis, 2018, mixed media sculpture.  Image donna davis.

This work is a result of a recent art/science collaboration where I creatively explored Dr Sandra Abell’s work investigating the decline of the endangered northern bettong, its diet and the ecological implications of species loss.

“Davis was inspired to create a ‘bettong foregut kaleidoscope’ with the conservation message that it is the bettong’s special gut and their microbial ecosystem within that allows them to feed mostly of truffle fungi.  As well as food for mammals the truffle fungi feeds the trees nutrients and water via their roots (mycorrhiza) which is vital for the health of the bettong habitat." Dr Sandra Abell 

Artist Statement
Rather than presenting a fluffy representation of the cute northern bettong I have created a fluffy homage to the distinct foregut of the bettong; exploring the northern bettong’s ecological importance through its unique diet.    

The work invites the viewer to peer through the bright pink foregut, into a kaleidoscope, to view the macro and micro world of the bettong’s diet of roots and tubers of kangaroo and cockatoo grass, together with its preferred, and rather refined taste for truffle fungi.  Which, inturn supports a healthy and balanced ecosystem due to the symbiotic relationship truffles have with native flora.

The exhibition will be on display from 10th August to 7th September at the Department of Environment and Science, Dutton Park.

This collaboration was thanks to the support of the Artist in Residency program at Tanks Art Centre in Cairns, May/June 2018, and thanks to Dr Sandra Abell, principle scientist Wet Tropics Authority, Cairns.

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