Kim McKay in conversation with AM artist-in-residence Janet Laurence after the opening of Deep Breathing (Resuscitation for the Reef).
Janet Laurence at the opening of Deep Breathing (Resuscitation for the Reef), 28 July 2016
Photographer: Tim Levy © Australian Museum
Janet Laurence's installation Deep Breathing (Resuscitation for the Reef) is an exploration of the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. Made from museum specimens, lab equipment, coral and glass, it emulates a life-saving resuscitation unit and draws attention to the impacts of global warming on one of the world’s great natural wonders.
“For me now, I’m wanting to talk about what we are losing in my art. Often my work is celebrating the beauty and extraordinary aspects of nature, but I feel compelled to reveal – in a state of emergency – what's happening.”
Created during a residency at the AM’s Lizard Island Reef Station, this is the Australian premiere of the work after showing at the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris.
“As an artist, I feel that I have an access to a different public than the scientists, and I think what is quite interesting is to be able to reveal a lot of that material that is seen in the scientific world and ... make it more accessible. Because I think sometimes the general public are a bit mystified by scientific information. And I feel that happens very much with the discussion of climate change.”