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ARC Linkage: When Science Meets Art: an Environmental Portrait of the Shoalhaven River Valley

Mar 01, 2014
The Australia Council is an industry partner in arts-related projects funded by the Australia Research Council (ARC).


When Science meets Art aims to build an environmental portrait of the Bundanon region, bringing together environmental science techniques, artistic practice, technology and cultural history. Created by the need to increase public knowledge of the natural and cultural heritage of the area, data collected through the project is put through scientific analysis and then digitally transformed using sounds and visual representation. The public can engage with the project using GPS on smartphones on site in the Bundanon Trust area, through artworks as well as through a planned website and e-book.


Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the project extends traditional ways of working by both artists and scientists through bringing together data and creative representation to create new meaning. The research question was posed clearly at the outset of the project and revisited throughout the journey: how can we create a portrait of this region that conveys both the cultural history and the natural environment of the area?

Project ID



In progress

Administering organisation

  • Macquarie University

Partner organisations

  • Bundanon Trust
  • Australia Council for the Arts

Click here for more information on ARC Linkage projects.

The BioPods project

BioPod_V02 The Nebuchadnezzar suite (Nigel Helyer)

BioPods and BioPods_V2 were developed as a contribution to the Bundanon Trust Siteworks program. It involved testing the prototype for a series of site-specific, micro-architectural sculptures designed to engage individuals to listen actively in the natural environment. Each capsule provides a single person the opportunity to participate in an overnight acoustic vigil where they would record the sounds of their surroundings along with their personal digital narrative.


Nigel Helyer: Landscape/Portrait – An exploration of the Shoalhaven River Valley (1 March – 13 April 2017)

Macquarie University Art Gallery showcased artwork inspired by this project. The exhibition documents and publicises work completed across the first two years of the project and highlights through the fusion of art and science the broader importance of communicating research through art.

Featured Artwork: Heavy Metal (Nigel Helyer, Dr Mark Taylor and Dr Jon Drummond)

Heavy Metal invites us to interact with one of Arthur Boyd’s paintings to discover a hidden world of elements and minerals in an experience that is simultaneously chemical, visual and musical.