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CREATEC Weekly Seminar Series - Dr Nien Schwarz and Associate Professor Drew Hubbell

Thursday, 07 September 2017


Presenter: Dr Nien Schwarz

Title: Perth Core Library: A Commission for Site-Specific Art Works

Biography: Dr Nien Schwarz is an interdisciplinary artist, environmental activist, and Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts at ECU where she teaches spatial studies and art history. Nien’s arts practice provokes consideration of human relationships to the ground, particularly mining, agriculture, and urban development. Installations, objects, photography, paintings, critical writing and collage works result from research into Earth and environmental sciences, economics, politics, and industrialisation. A life‐long fascination with geology resulted in over 30 field seasons supporting geological mapping expeditions across the Canadian arctic and WA. Artworks incorporate the material essence of places, including hand-collected and prepared earth pigments and botanical matter.

Abstract: The Perth Core Library Commission is for the design and installation of long-lasting, large-scale, site-specific, sculptural installations, archival digital prints and paintings specifically geologically-themed for the recently renovated Perth Core Library, 37 Harris St, Carlisle. The aim is to reflect the history and diversity of WA’s mineral and petroleum resource development and to stimulate discussion of DMP research and associated drill core samples archived at the Core Library. Target clientele is primarily industry and academic professionals, followed by the community. This presentation outlines artworks researched and developed by the artist Nien Schwarz in consultation with assigned DMP scientific and technical staff and demonstrates how the artworks add vitality to the building, provide a source of pride, and support geological educational inquiry. Total budget is $41,000. Project completion date is 31 March 2017.

Presenter: Associate Professor Drew Hubbell

Title: Practical Utopias: The Transition Town Movement in Western Australia

Biography: Drew is an Associate Professor of Nineteenth Century British literature at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, USA. He is currently on sabbatical with a Visiting Research Professor position at ECU pursuing research on the Transition Towns as part of the first chapter for his new monograph titled Romantic Utopias, Real and Imagined. This book will examine the literary roots of community-based environmentalist movements such as Transition Towns. His previous book, Byron’s Nature: A Romantic Theory of Cultural Ecology, was published by Palgrave Macmillin in 2017. With John Ryan, he is also co-editor of Introduction to Environmental Humanities, forthcoming, Routledge Press, and guest editor for ECU’s Landscapes journal.

Abstract: The Transition Town Movement emerged in 2006 in the UK and has quickly spread to the rest of the world. There are currently 1500 Transition Towns worldwide and 19 in Western Australia. In the presentation, Drew will describe and contextualize this social change movement, provide statistics on the WA phenomenon, and speculate about why the movement has such popularity in WA: accidents of history, geography, culture, and development patterns. The presentation is groundwork for an oral history project that he will conduct October - November in collaboration with Kayt Davies.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 10, Room 10.308
Cost: Free
Light lunch will be provided


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