Art and science expedition to explore the unique ecology of Moree

Western Sydney University and Bank Art Museum Moree (BAMM) have partnered on a unique art and science expedition that aims to raise awareness for Moree’s distinctive river systems and wetlands.

‘The Painted River Project at Moree’ will bring together a range of local artists from the Gwydir region, and diverse community members, including traditional owners, farmers, children, parents and grandparents, with researchers from the University. The collaboration will involve artists capturing the river visually, while scientists undertake water testing and exploration.

The group of visiting artists, which features Lucy Culliton, Joe Furlonger, Rhett Brewer and Leo Robba, will join with the local community to celebrate, share and capture on canvas the unique ecology and culture of their place.

Project founder and artist, Dr Leo Robba from the University’s School of Humanities and Communication Arts, explained the project seeks to build a sense of resilience by helping community members work together to identify the shared benefits of a more sustainable future.

“Water is vital for life yet it is often taken for granted. For water-dependent communities like Moree, who live with the ever-increasing threat of drought and now floods, this is not the case,” said Dr Robba.

“What is wonderful from the many Painted River Projects we have run is that through the shared experience of both painting and water testing many new connections are made.”

“These connections and the active discussions that flow, lead to a deeper understanding of the need for all of us to better value and care for our precious water systems.”

The Painted River Project is supported by water expert Dr Ian Wright from the University’s School of Science who will lead water testing and exploration.

"We are going to use nets and microscopes to explore biodiverse river and pond life at Moree,” said Dr Wright.

“We are particularly interested in how the river ecology is doing after the region has endured a long drought and a recent flood.”

This collaboration, to run 22 to 25 April, has been made possible by the generous support of the Country Arts Support Program (CASP).

The Painted River Project is a long-term research project that has been designed to communicate the need for cultural transformation towards a real understanding of the role water and our river systems play in underpinning human health and wellbeing.

For more information on The Painted River Project, visit the web page (opens in a new window).

Painted River Project feature artist, Lucy Culliton with a local artist


26 April 2021

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas