Extinction Studies is a twelve-month durational performance in which Tasmanian artist Lucienne Rickard will undergo a daily reckoning: drawing, then erasing, a recently extinct species. Beginning each day during museum opening hours, Lucienne will draw and erase on the same paper, eventually worn thin by the marks and indents of loss. Each extinct species is sourced from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the authoritative list of extinct and threatened species used by scientists globally. Extinction Studies merges art and science, a ‘study’ being both a technical art term – for a drawing or sketch done in preparation – and more generally understood as the practice of devoting time and attention to understanding a topic, which, in this case, is the process of species extinction and concerns for the future of biodiversity in the natural world. Commissioned by Detached Cultural Organisation
Filmed in the midlands plains of lutruwita (Tasmania) this is the story of an unusual alignment between a farmer, a scientist and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. From a simple idea to run a science experiment emerged the story of a community returning an important cultural fire practice and reconnecting to lands where brutal dispossession took place. The collaboration benefits each in different ways but relies on a mutual trust heading into unchartered waters. The film highlights the importance of a traditional pakana practice that society is awakening to in an era of ecological collapse and global warming.
Albatross island is a magical place. 18 hectares of conglomerate rock off the northwestern tip of Tasmania is the home to 5200 breeding pairs of Shy Albatross. Harvested near to extinction in the 1800's, the population gradually recovered to half the estimated historical population size. Yet in recent years the population has again started to decline. A long-term monitoring program is overseen by marine biologist Dr Rachael Aldermen, who has been visiting the island for a decade. While there, Rachael and her small team must live in a giant cave that partially protects them from the elements. Life on the island is typically cold, often wet and always windy. This beautiful film documents the journey to a remote and beautiful corner of Tasmania, into the lives of the endemic Shy Albatross and the scientists that are working to ensure their survival.