Mercury Rising

Glade-Wright, Robyn (2023) Mercury Rising. [Creative Work]

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'Mercury Rising' was hung on The Cairns Institute. Created by Robyn Glade-Wright, it took nine months to make and addresses the bioaccumulation of heavy metals in waterbirds.

Research Statement

Research Background Environmental works of art exhibited in public spaces can reach people who do not regularly visit art galleries. Mercury Rising is installed on the exterior of a public building where it is visible to building users and guests. Over the past few decades, I have developed a subversive use of beauty in my works of art. The subversive use of beauty involves an attractive form and yet, a perturbing message. The title Mercury Rising has been used to highlight the effects of a wide range of anthropogenic pressures on free-living bird populations. For instance, “Mercury is a globally distributed heavy metal of particular concern for aquatic biota, because of the harmful effects on embryo development, neurology, immune system, physiology and behaviour” leading to population decline (Goutte et al., 2014. p. 1).
Research Contribution Mercury Rising is a large-scale work of environmental art. It makes a research contribution by expanding the way environmental communication can be constructed and presented. While facts regarding the bio-accumulation and bio-magnification of heavy metals are known in the field of science, works of art such as Mercury Rising can disseminate scientific information in a visual form to a broad audience. Mercury Rising indicates how a work of art might generate a cognitive and emotional appeal by suggesting the problem of and the negative impact of mercury on the life of wetland birds. The bird is hung facing downwards implying it is falling from the sky. This is an original work of art and adds to the body of knowledge regarding environmental communication through art.
Research Significance Mercury Rising is significant because it demonstrates how artists can “occupy a new, discursive terrain as agents of public enlightenment” (Cucuzzella, 2021, p. 2). Mercury Rising provides us with an image and a perspective “through which experiences may be seen afresh" (Graham, 2005, p. 112). The work offers an experiential form of learning that highlights the facts of science in a manner that can engage a broad range of people and foster reflective understanding.
Item ID: 78764
Item Type: Creative Work (Original Work - Visual Art - NTRO)
Media of Output: Mixed media sculpture
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Copyright Information: © Robyn Glade-Wright 2023.
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 04:14
FoR Codes: 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3606 Visual arts > 360602 Fine arts @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130103 The creative arts @ 100%
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