Artist-college fellowships scheme kicks off

4 April 2014

A year after the first recipients of the Vice-Chancellor's College Artists Fellow scheme were announced, their works are now on display at the ANU School of Art.

Established in 2012, the VCCAFS allows successful artists a chance to embed themselves across all colleges at ANU, working in various disciplines to interpret research in an artistic context. The scheme has been funded for five years.

"The idea behind the scheme is to promote interdisciplinary research within the university and to raise awareness of the extent to which the creative arts can actually inform and relate to disciplines in other areas in the University," ANU School of Art Professor Anthea Callen says.

"We've been particularly successful in the sciences but also anthropology. So it's looking really good."

Professor Callen says there are also works that visually represent applied mathematics, including 3-D imagery of x-rays, created by Art student Erica Seccombe.

"The green things you see are a by-product of that, as it were. So what they are effectively is 3-dimensional objects based on 3D time-based x-ray imaging of growing plants, seeds germinating."

One of the School's painters, Michael Edwards, has also been working with economists at the College of Business and Economics.

"He's been doing portraits of historical economists and thinking about getting them to think critically about the role of the economist in society. So perhaps he's raising awareness of the view that one might have from a different discipline," Professor Callen says.

She says the program gives artists and host-colleges a chance to bridge the communication gap between the fields.

"It's so valuable as an inter-disciplinary exercise because it takes what at first might appear to be quite alien disciplines and shows them ways in which they can bridge those differences and find the major things in common - whether it's in terms of ways of talking about finding common language or common creativity," she says.

Part two of the exhibition will be held in a few weeks' time. That exhibition includes works by Amanda Stuart, based on her interpretation of exhibitions at the National Museum of Australia.

More information on the VCCAFS can be found here.

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