Science, framed through an artistís lens
The delicate, yet diverse landscape of Queensland’s Idalia National Park inspired Carol McGregor’s latest exhibition, Idalia Imprints, recently displayed at The University of Queensland.
The Brisbane-based artist visited the region in 2014 as part of UQ’s School of Biological Sciences artist-in-residence program, supported by the UQ Art Museum.
"I had not been to outback Queensland before and this was a wonderful opportunity to work with this country," Ms McGregor said.
Joining a group of UQ students and academics on their Outback Ecology Studies field trip, Ms McGregor spent a week exploring the intersection of land, culture and history in the Blackall-Yaraka District of Central West Queensland.
"Attempting to visually express the landscape and its narrative pushed me to try new mediums, in particular photography and watercolours," she said.
"I really wanted to capture how the semi-arid environment and its inhabitants are shaped by layered histories and the remnants that have been left behind.”
The result was a captivating collection of work, incorporating drawing, natural fibres, photography and digital media.
Field trip academic coordinator and School of Biological Sciences Senior Lecturer Dr David Booth said the residency program provided a unique opportunity for both the students and the artist to work together, and see the region from a different perspective.
"Generally the artists look at the aesthetics of the field work environments very differently, which is interesting for many of our students," Dr Booth said.
Similarly, Ms McGregor learnt a lot about scientific sampling, experimental methods and the various specimens the students collected during the trip.
"Being part of the nail-tailed wallaby monitoring and night count was really exciting," she said.
Ms McGregor graduated from Griffith University, Queensland College of Art in 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Art Honours First Class, and is currently completing postgraduate studies.
Her work is held in private and commercial collections across the country.