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Jennifer

Jennifer Turpin

Year of Award: 2012 Award State: New South Wales Arts - Visual > General
Environment > General
To research environmental public artworks in contemporary and historic cultures - Japan, India, Italy
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Conclusion

The experience of seeing some exemplary environmental art/ architecture built projects, combined with witnessing and partaking of the social/ cultural phenomenon of thermal bathing as part of an attitude to environment has been life-changing for me.

It was both energising and inspiring to learn, and have reinforced, the value of simple appreciation of and participation in the celebration of water and the other elements of our natural world. This was achieved by the direct experience of walking through and drawing in the gardens, the architectural spaces, the art installations and natural landscapes that I visited in Japan, Denmark, Iceland and Venice. The difference between physical experience, as opposed to seeing photographic representations on-line or in books, is difficult to describe in words. It is the power of ‘being’ in a place, to feel with all the senses the serenity of a well-designed garden or the majesty of light playing in a masterfully designed architectural space, or the quality of the sound of water in a landscaped space or artwork that can be so profoundly moving.

Immersing myself in the ‘cultures of water’ in Japan, Iceland and Venice was illuminating. Exploring the phenomenon of bathing in thermal pools in Japan and Iceland has led me to contemplate the cultural, social and environmental benefits of this therapeutic and lifeaffirming activity which contributes to a community’s well being through physical connection to a natural element. I’m interested in how this can be developed in Australia and in particular furthering my own studio’s research into the creative design of environmentally sensitive public pools. These may be warm or cool, solar powered and potentially floating in harbours or rivers. 

The combined experiences of this Churchill Fellowship will influence my artwork in Australia and inform my ongoing role in cultural urban design masterplanning projects. It has strengthened my belief in the importance of art and design that is focussed on and finely tuned to the natural environment and I will continue to create public artworks, give talks, contribute to urban ideas workshops and mentor other artists and designers in this capacity.

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