BioArt: A Measure of Preservation

BioArt integrates the best of both worlds—nature immersion and inspiration, with artistic imagination and innovation.

The vision of landscaping artist David Hockney, the new ‘Living Landscapes’ exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), encourages environmental awareness and conservation through creative tools and technology.

A new La Trobe University initiative, inspired by one of the world’s most influential living artists currently featuring at the NGV in David Hockney: Current, will see a virtual forest of hand drawn digital trees and plants translated into a real-life forest, creating long-lasting benefits for the environment.

Under the initiative, Living Landscapes, visitors to the NGV’s Friday Nights program create their own personalised tree on an iPad using the colours and brush strokes inspired by David Hockney. They move their tablet over a virtual scale replica of the University’s 30-­‐hectare Wildlife Sanctuary and digitally “plant” their creation amid an evolving forest of digital trees already created by other visitors on the night.

For each of the estimated 4000 virtual plants created during the initiative, La Trobe will plant one within the Sanctuary, which was set up 50 years ago to protect local flora and fauna.

Sanctuary Senior Coordinator Andrew Stocker said the University was delighted to offer an experience that allowed gallery visitors to create their own Hockney-­‐inspired art while also helping protect an iconic Melbourne habitat.

“Living Landscapes embodies David Hockney’s unique style by blending technology with old-­‐style painting of beautiful flora and landscapes,” he said.

“Participants are not only creating their own unique piece of digital art, they are also making a lasting contribution to a sustainable future.”

This is the fourth year La Trobe has partnered with the NGV in bringing inspirational exhibitions to the community and is the only University to provide their students access to an accredited art subject conducted within the gallery’s exhibition spaces.

Living Landscapes will run during every NGV Friday Night from 6pm – 10pm until March 10. Tickets available from (NGV) ngv.vic.gov.au

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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