water[shed] Restore Pedder
A turning point, big change, high ground, restore pedder. History records art and artists at the forefront of discussions of social, political, and ecological issues.
‘…art can engage with the world to change the world’.
About the project
In the summer of 2021–22 it will be 50 years since Lake Pedder was flooded by a Hydro-Electric Power Scheme. This jewel of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, with its iconic wide, pink quartzite beach was swallowed up when 242 square kilometres of Tasmania’s wilderness drowned. The art and imagery created at the time continues to capture our imagination.
The original lake is not forgotten. It lies quietly waiting, just 15 metres beneath the dark, dead, brooding body of water still officially gazetted as Lake Pedder.
The campaign to restore Lake Pedder is a powerful symbol of hope in increasingly troubling times.
The scientific results are in. There is absolutely no doubt that the original Lake Pedder and environs can be restored. Dam removal has been increasingly reported globally and is becoming an important approach for river management, restoration and environmental conservation.
This 50-year anniversary also coincides with the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030.
The UN Decade is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems and restore them to achieve global goals to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction.
Restoring Pedder is the perfect Australian flagship project for this UN decade.
We are staging this exhibition at the Bett Gallery over three weeks from 18 February – 12 March 2022 to coincide with that last heart-breaking summer in 1972 as the dam waters began to rise and Lake Pedder finally went under.
50 national and international artists (one for each year since Lake Pedder was lost) have accepted our invitation to make work that explores the notions of watershed, ecosystem restoration, re-wilding, loss, grief, hope and of course to celebrate the original Lake Pedder.
OUTSIDE THE BOX / Earth Arts Rights is designing and publishing a major book to support the exhibition and to promote the Restore Pedder campaign.
Proceeds from sales of the publication will support the Restore Pedder campaign.
With the help of artist Pat Brassington, we have unearthed the late Geoff Parr’s image archive from 1972–73 that records Lake Pedder before and during the inundation. A major audio-visual production of over 100 of Geoff’s images will feature as part of the exhibition.
In collaboration with the University of Tasmania, Sustainability Learning Centre (Department of Education), the Science Teachers Association of Tasmania (STAT), the Australian Association for Environmental Education Tasmania (AAEE-Tas) we are also producing teacher’s notes and an education kit to be delivered free of charge to a number of schools and colleges in Tasmania. Schools across Australia and internationally will also be able to download a digital copy of these resources and selected excerpts from the exhibition publication.
We hope this will help foster interest, uptake and dissemination of the resource by state, national and international education organisations.
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