Project dates: 10/01/2021 - Ongoing
The artistic visualisation Wallangarra Seeing the White Gum seeks to communicate the challenges Australian eucalypts are facing, visualise the efforts of citizen scientists to understand these, and engage audiences in an evocative reminder of the Australian gum. The artwork is an artistic data visualisation – evocative while responding to data. The Wallangarra White Gum (Eucalyptus scoparia Maiden) is an Australian eucalypt endemic to the Wallangarra area in South East Queensland and bordering Northern NSW. Like many other Australian eucalypts, the White Gum sheds its bark, with vivid displays of layered colour across trunk and bark – especially after rain. Unfortunately, rain is increasingly rare. Also like many other Australian eucalypts, the White Gum is vulnerable (EPBC). Australia has 822 species of eucalypt, with 89 listed as threatened in the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999. Over recent years we have seen sudden death of Snow gums in the Australian Alpine regions, tracts of dying Sandalwoods in South Australia, through to increasingly endangered Tasmanian white gums. Climate change is considered to be impacting on the eucalypts’ survival: their ‘climate niche’ is narrowing and at the same time, warmer conditions increase potential for bushfires and prompt insect hatching to mate and lay more eggs – increasing their populations. In many cases, drought stricken eucalypts are under stress and highly susceptible to disease and increased pest populations. The matter is urgent for us in Queensland – we have a significant proportion of Australia’s Eucalypt forests, yet much of this is younger with the majority of old forest being in NSW and Victoria. Citizen Science project The Dead Tree Detective and TERN are among those seeking to understand tree losses, and citizen science provides an opportunity for people to participate in caretaking.
The artist and work acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, past present and future, most especially the Jukembal people where the Wallangarra gum grows, and the Turrbal and Yuggura people where QUT stands.
“The Wallangarra White Gum” Image Credit: https://www.nationalarboretum.act.gov.au/living-collections/forests-and-trees/forest-92
Other Team Members
- Turner, Jane, Seevinck, Jen, Krauth, Alinta, Tweeddale, Anna, Sheikh, Hira, Gonsalves, Kavita, Armstrong, Keith, Pedersen, Courtney, Haynes, Rachael, King-Smith, Leah, et al. (2021) Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures: More than human futures: Data Wall Exhibition Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures: School of Design Inaugural Learning & Teaching Symposium in cooperation with QUT Design Lab & More-than-Human Futures Research Group.
The work was installed at
(1) the Citizen Science in Queensland showcase from CitSciOz and
(2) the Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures Exhibition.