Exhibition shows how global and local perspectives offer a renewed focus for living

See where art and science converge, and how global and local perspectives offer a renewed focus for living, in Scenic Rim Regional Council’s exhibition opening in June at The Centre Beaudesert.

Through the micro and macro lens, Life in Focus merges two diverse exhibitions, When A Tree Falls by multi-talented artist Donna Davis, and provides the curtain-raiser for the Scenic Rim Story Marker Trails project.

Would You Love Me More by Donna Davis from When A Tree Falls exhibition. Photo by Michael Marzik

The exhibition, to be officially opened on Saturday 11 June by Scenic Rim Arts Reference Group Chair Cr Michael Enright, will include a live panel discussion exploring climate change issues and how art can act as a catalyst for understanding and positive action.

“Life in Focus is very much about our sense of place, not only geographically but also our interactions with the natural world,” he said.

“Showcasing a selection of significant local stories and landmark locations across the Scenic Rim region, the Scenic Rim Story Marker Trails exhibition features remarkable narratives of place, with stunning photographs and public artworks selected from more than 1,000 accounts of historical events, places of interest and heritage sites across the region.

“This collection will strengthen our community connection to the region’s rich past and has been gathered from members of local museums, the Queensland Museum, Scenic Rim writers’ groups, local authors, Indigenous Elders, young people, and writings from the War Stories and Our Towns project.

“Information featured on the Story Markers interpretative signage and public art works will guide residents and visitors on a journey of understanding, connecting them with the culture, heritage and natural environment of the Scenic Rim, generating increased visitation and interaction within the region.”

Beaudesert War Memorial featured in the Scenic Rim Story Marker Trails

Mayor Greg Christensen said Life in Focus was the latest in the Scenic Rim’s series of high quality and thought-provoking exhibitions.

“The Scenic Rim Story Marker Trails project and When a Tree Falls invite a deeper contemplation of our region and the world around us,” he said.

The story markers explore the five themes of Indigenous stories, settler stories, migrant stories, contemporary stories of place and environmental stories.

The environment is a keen focus for Donna Davis, whose When a Tree Falls component of the exhibition combines installation, video, projection and digital media to create works that spark curiosity and contemplation of interactions in, and with, the natural world.

She has explored the issue of the earth’s rising temperatures through artist residencies in science projects based in Far North Queensland and George Washington University in the United States.

“As an artist, I seek to understand the ecological complexity and explore our role as humans to alleviate and remedy the disorder,” Donna said.

“I am an artist who explores the nexus between art and science, creatively interpreting ecological data from real-time research projects in which I am embedded as artist-in-residence.

“There is a long history of artists documenting scientific endeavours.

“However, this exhibition extends beyond documentation, using sculpture, stop-frame animation, digital media, and installation to explore interspecies relationships and perceived notions of hierarchy within ecological systems.”

Members of the Scenic Rim community are invited to attend the free launch event at 10.30am on Saturday 11 June and join facilitator Andy Grodecki in conversation with Donna Davis and ecologists Professor Amy Zanne, Professor Darren Crayn and Associate Professor Lisa Chandler and members of the scientific community who will dial in from around Australia and overseas.

The live panel discussion will be followed by guided gallery tours at 1.30pm and 2.00pm with Donna Davis, who will discuss her artworks and the science and concepts which inspire them.

Bookings are essential for both the launch event and the gallery tours and can be made online by emailing thecentre@scenicrim.qld.gov.au or telephoning (07) 5540 5050.

The free Life in Focus exhibition runs from Saturday 11 June until Saturday 13 August is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm, excluding public holidays.