Arts / Action

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’.

Olafur Eliasson

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.

Exhibition

water[shed] is an exhibition conceived by OUTSIDE THE BOX / Earth Arts Rights and presented in collaboration with Bett Gallery to support the Restore Pedder campaign.

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.

Publication

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.

Audio-Visual

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.

Education Kit

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.

Subscribe

Keep up-to-date with this project by subscribing to our newsletter.

Graphic logo for the campaign showing the stylised word water[shed].
Graphic logo for the campaign showing the stylised word water[shed].
Photograph of the original Lake Pedder by Wilf Elvy taken from a light plane in 1972–73 prior to inundation by the Huon-Serpentine impoundment waters. The rugged Frankland Range is in the background and the three kilometre long, stunning pink quartzite beach sparkles in the foreground.
Photograph of the original Lake Pedder by Wilf Elvy taken from a light plane in 1972–73 prior to inundation by the Huon-Serpentine impoundment waters. The rugged Frankland Range is in the background and the three kilometre long, stunning pink quartzite beach sparkles in the foreground.
Photograph of artist Max Angus by fellow artist Patricia Giles captures Max as a young man wearing his trademark beret and seated on the shore of Lake Pedder, painting en plein air.
Photograph of artist Max Angus by fellow artist Patricia Giles captures Max as a young man wearing his trademark beret and seated on the shore of Lake Pedder, painting en plein air.
Black and white photograph of Lake Pedder by the late Geoff Parr capturing the mountain ranges and old eucalypt trees reflecting in the water of Lake Pedder during the last summer as the dam waters begin their inexorable rise.
Black and white photograph of Lake Pedder by the late Geoff Parr capturing the mountain ranges and old eucalypt trees reflecting in the water of Lake Pedder during the last summer as the dam waters begin their inexorable rise.
Black and white photograph of Lake Pedder by the late Geoff Parr capturing the mountain ranges and clouds in an unusual upside down scene reflecting in the water of lake during the last summer as the dam waters begin their inexorable rise. The famous beach is now only just visible as a very narrow remnant.
Black and white photograph of Lake Pedder by the late Geoff Parr capturing the mountain ranges and clouds in an unusual upside down scene reflecting in the water of lake during the last summer as the dam waters begin their inexorable rise. The famous beach is now only just visible as a very narrow remnant.
Images: Lake Pedder, Wilf Elvey (Image from the LIST © State of Tasmania) / Max Angus at work on the beach at Lake Pedder, Patricia Giles / Black and white images, Geoff Parr