Lisa Roberts

Updated on Wed, 08/12/2020 - 19:16
Lisa filming storm

My role in this project is to bring to scientific data diverse expressions of relationship from people around the world. My relationship to the Southern Ocean comes from sailing through it by ship to work as an artist in Antarctica (in 2002), and co-authoring the scientific paper revealing, through art and science, the first sighting of the entire mating dance of Antarctic krill (krill sex). An animated story informed by the scientific data, accompanies the paper. My hope is that the combination of art and science attracts policy makers to care about krill, and moves them to ensure sustainable management of krill breeding grounds in the Southern Ocean. I also hope to inspire more artists to work with scientists and other scholars, to find their own paths to reconnecting different ways of thinking that together create a more holistic view.

I was born on Norfolk Island in 1949. I grew up with stories about my heritage being Aboriginal Australian and European, and watching my mother in Bill Onus's Aboriginal Enterprises studio decorating boomerangs that he made. Like many people dispossessed of cultural knowledge of their Indigenous forebears (in both northern and southern hemispheres), I work to reconnect ways of knowing that together sustained Aboriginal peoples for tens of thousands of years. I dance, draw, paint and animate, in response to places and to stories shared by people who know in different ways, as scientists and as artists.

In 2002 I worked as an artist in Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and then came to Sydney in 2003. In 2004 I embarked on Aboriginal Studies at Eora College and then a PhD in New Media Arts at the University of New South Wales. These explorations led me to reconnect with my Aboriginal family and to recognise in art and scientific data, the primal forms of circling, spiralling and crossing, as language of relationship, change and transformation. I work as Artist in Residence in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology Sydney and created Living Data as a program to inspire more people to listen and learn from the natural world.

Contributions to the Map:
Ocean Dance (v6)
Scientific modelling

Communication by pheromones
Seeding Treaty: Inclusion and cooperation
Mystery Bay Ocean DanceBeauty that was: Menindee Fish Kill
Antarctic flows
Water energy