In Vetland project 2009

The In Vetland project was the 2009 Art meets Vet Science residency at Murdoch University’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. it aimed to engage people in discussions and artworks that highlight the linkages between scientific and creative exploration, as well as boundaries between the human and nonhuman worlds. The residency focussed on producing two artworks:

  1. Reverse animals. How students (and everyone else) understand form when moving between 2D representations like X-rays into 3D realities. An animal’s skull, for example, hides a complex interior. This was investigated to see what might already be researched and also more widely the metaphoric answers to this question of perception and conception. 3D sculptures were made and X-rayed them back into 2D – in effect ‘reversing animals’.
  2. Chimeric portraits. This work investigated the scientific and creative lives of veterinary and biomedical researchers — asking what great questions and secret passions drive their investigations. These anonymous portraits explored of public and private, fact and fantasy and were part of ongoing explorations into the everyday practices of science. On one wall were of 4 volunteer’s empty offices or workplaces. On the opposite wall, and not in corresponding order, were 4 digitally manipulated composite portraits generated from discussing with each person what they might (creatively or humorously) wish to be. The identities behind these creative portraits were not be made public in the exhibition, leading to a sense of mystery about our chimerical desires.

Additionally many pictures were taken of animal and human relations, particularly the process of diagnostic palpation. Discussions and talks with staff and student were a highlight of the process.

This project would not have been possible without the support of the Murdoch Veterinary Trust, the staff and students of the School, including the anatomy area and its museum.

(see blog posts)