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Contemporary artist, Perdita Phillips has been selected from a pool of national applicants to receive 6 months funding from the Australia Council for a residency at SymbioticA – the art and science collaborative research laboratory situated at The University of Western Australia (UWA).

SymbioticA is a research laboratory located in the university’s School of Anatomy and Human Biology dedicated to the exploration from an artistic perspective of scientific knowledge in general, and biological technologies in particular.

Ms Phillip’s funding will be used to pursue research into the Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) in the Kimberley of Western Australia by undertaking field experiments. The project will involve recordings of the birds’ vocalisations. Ms Phillips proposes to create art inspired by the collection and a display of objects by the male bowerbirds and their bowers.

With the wide and varied expertise at UWA, Ms Phillips has engaged the interest of experts in bird behaviour from the School of Animal Biology. Professor Dale Roberts explains, “The school has a strong group conducting fundamental research on mate choice theory and sexual selection: why females are choosy and males competitive. These ideas feed straight into Perdita’s planned work.”

This continues research from Ms Phillip’s PhD, fieldwork/fieldwalking, where she spent extensive periods in the Kimberley mapping her own space with objects, memories and observations.

SymbioticA Artistic Director Oron Catts said, “As an artistic research lab dedicated to the exploration of life in all of its levels, we are excited about this project as it expands our research into the areas of conservation and ecology.“

Artists are encouraged to consider proposing a residency at SymbioticA through the Artist-Initiated Residency program of the Inter-Arts Office, which this year has a closing date of 15 October 2007.

Previous grant recipients for residencies at SymbioticA were Jason Davidson (2004) and Boo Chapple (2006).

More information

Perdita Phillips:
Jane Coakley:



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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