Noosa Biosphere Art Prize

Noosa Biosphere Art Prize

Sandra Conte

28th May 2013

Green art awards are a powerful tool for raising environmental awareness. The Noosa Biosphere Art Prize is one such case and recipients for different categories in 2012, its inaugural year, are Bark Lab and Lenni Semmelink. As part of their award, the artists are showing at Floating Land 2013 with their respective projects entitled ‘Growth’ and ‘Earthsong’.


‘Growth’ by Bark Lab – was Inspired by the sunlight, which provides ‘growth’ to nature. The project comprises a series of three physical constructs that aim to lightly ‘frame’ or celebrate one’s experience of nature and provide an inextricable link to the landscape through sunlight and shadow patterns.

Lindy Atkin and Stephen Guthrie of Bark Lab state, “Based on the premise that ‘nature grows’, our work, with audience participation, will grow and transform during the course of the exhibition. From the manmade to the organic and back, we will be developing a system or kit of parts which allows the construction of these ‘frames’ of reference to be participatory, loose fit, organic and somewhat random in outcome but with distinct biological inspired origins”.

Bark Lab as the research and design collaborative of Bark Design Architects are pleased to have been selected through the Noosa Biosphere Art Prize, as a Lead Artist for Floating Land 2013. Through the support of the Noosa Biosphere, Bark Lab proposed to expand their creative collective to work alongside Sideways Films to create a short documentary describing the design process, fabrication/construction and community participation process in the creation of ‘Growth.’ The intent of the documentary and associated visual media was to be made available for an online audience or web streaming events throughout the filming/making, capturing and projecting the collaborative making process, inviting a wider audience to view and participate in ‘Growth’ at the Floating Land festival 2013.


‘Earthsong’ creates an immersive space enhancing the human experience of the natural world through amplified sounds of the local environment and using visual cymatic projections (naturally occurring geometric patterns representative of sound vibrations) into the environment, onto the trees and set amongst outdoor, native plants.

As outlined in the Floating Land Festival program, Lenni’s ‘Earthsong’ project has two parts to its experience. First, it is an interactive space - people nearby will hear the amplified natural sounds and as they enter the space they will hear their own impact on the area – they will hear their footsteps and hear the effects of when they touch the plants. Second, the space is used as a performance area. The audience will be given a short talk about the space and how it works. This will be followed by a performance of percussionists ‘playing’ the trees and ground (with light touches and taps). Anyone wanting to dance to these earthly sounds will also become a part of the soundscape through their movement on the ground.

For further information go to the Floating Land program for Lenni’s installation and performances on Saturday June 1@1-4pm, Wednesday June 5 @1-4pm, 6-7pm, and Saturday June 8 @ 1-4pm Lake Cootharaba Foreshore, Boreen Point, Queensland, Australia.

Lenni is an interdisciplinary artist and states, “My work is of what’s around me, to promote appreciation and belonging, a sharing of culture, resourcefulness (I use a lot of recycled materials in my work and life)”.
Click here for the Floating Land program.

The Noosa Biosphere Art Prize

The mission of the Noosa Biosphere Art Prize is to highlight innovative green art, including interdisciplinary work which encourages social change. The inaugural Noosa Biosphere Art Prize 2012 was established by the Noosa Biosphere Cultural Board as a way to recognise the incredible diversity of Green Art, (which refers to any creative project which expresses and responds to the natural environment), produced in that region and the role art can play is creating a sustainable future.
The Cultural Board will soon be inviting applications from creative thinkers with processes utilising art as the tool of change towards addressing the global ecological crisis.
For further information and details of eligibility go to

(Photographs: ‘Lashing Prototypes’ BarkLab / Video still of Lenni Semmelink from shorts recorded by James Muller.)

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