Lynette Wallworth

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Lynette Wallworth is an Australian artist most well known for her use of interactive technologies to create immersive installations. Wallworth's artworks have been exhibited widely including Lincoln Center NYC, Sundance Film Festival as well as festivals across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The works are typified as being immersive and often require active participation like moving around the space, handling objects or using touch-based interfaces. Her most recent work was designed to be seen in digital planetariums.


Wallworth's work reflects on the connections between people and the natural world. Often working in series or meditations on one theme, her measured pace suggests that patient observation might lead to richer understanding between ourselves and the natural environment. With each work there is a consistent experimentation using the latest technology. Wallworth manages to build a sense of community and compassion with these tools with a sense of beauty, revelation and wonder.[1]

Interactive video installations[edit]

One of Wallworth earlier works, Hold: Vessel (2001), invites the viewer to examine their relationship with the complex and immense natural world. Visitors hold a glass bowl and walk into a darkened room. The bowls ‘catch’ falling images of microscopic marine life and telescopic astronomical imagery from video projectors positioned in the ceiling.[2] Hold: Vessel 2. (2007) follows on from Hold: Vessel 1, and uses footage indicating changes in fragile marine environments such as Tasmania’s giant kelp forests as well as footage from the 2004 Transit of Venus, a rare astronomical event, and historically an event that signals global scientific co-operation.

Evolution of Fearlessness (2006), commissioned by Peter Sellars for the Vienna Festivalis, is another intimate interactive installation. In this work Wallworth filmed portraits of several women residing in Australia‚ but originating from countries such as Afghanistan‚ Sudan‚ Iraq and El Salvador‚ who have lived through war‚ survived concentration camps or extreme acts of violence.[3] Lynette wanted to show women who had a quality of resilience. The installation is designed for a one-to-one experience. When a person approaches the work they walk down a hallway and step up onto a platform before a doorway that pulses with blue light. There is an area of the video that is lit up and when a person puts their hand on the video the interactive system responds with one of the women placing their hand on your hand.[3] This creates an intimate relationship between the video image and the visitor. This work is a sequel to Wallworth's earlier work Invisible by Night (2004) which presents a projection of a life–sized grieving woman whose eternal pacing can be interrupted by the viewer.[4] She followed these works with a third in the series called Duality of Light commissioned by Adelaide Film Festival where the viewer has an encounter with a stranger whose ethereal presence reminds you of your own mortality. Further interactive installations include Still/Waiting 2 (2006), where the video is both unsettled and revealed by the presence of the viewer with dramatic movement of enormous flocks of birds from the South Australian flinders Ranges.[5] Another focuses on the audiences engagement with powerful human emotions such as grief, loss and the re-emergence of hope seen in Duality of Light (2009).[6] In 2010, Wallworth was invited to the Netherlands to create video imagery for the Hungarian composer György Kurtág's piece, Kafka Fragmente. Her visual imagery accompanied the performance the work.[7] In the same year she developed interactive she developed interactive video for the English National Opera performance of Elegy for Young Lovers directed by Fiona Shaw.


Lynette has produced a video work on permanent display for the Immigration Museum Victoria called 'Welcome'. In 2012 she was invited by the Martu people of Western Australia to develop a new video work for their exhibition We Don’t Need a Map from a journey taken with them into the Western Desert.[8] This work called ‘Still Walking Country or Ngalaju Nyurri Parra Yarnkuni was first shown at the Fremantle Arts Centre.


Wallworth's 2012 work CORAL Rekindling Venus creates an immersive film experience in a digital full-dome planetarium. The film uses underwater footage of coral reefs and sea life to portray a fragile ecosystem under threat from global warming. The work was launched on the Transit of Venus 2012, and screened in 23 different cities worldwide during the week of the Transit. It screened as part of the World Science Festival NYC, the Cultural Olympiad London and at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 as part of New Frontier. New York-based composer and performer Antony Hegarty wrote the song ‘Rise’ for the film. The music of Max Richter, Tanya Tagaq Gillis, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Fennesz and Sakamoto, also feature in the film.[9] She developed a companion artwork for Coral in the form of a set of interactive posters that are triggered into life by a mobile phone app called coral RKV.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Wallworth's work has been exhibited at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Sundance Film Festival, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, Auckland Triennial, England's Brighton Festival and the Vienna Festival among many others.[10] In April 2009, Wallworth’s largest solo show in Australia opened at the Samstag Museum of Art as part of the BigPond Adelaide Film Festival.[11]


Wallworth has been awarded an International Fellowship from the Arts Council of England, a New Media Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts and was the inaugural recipient of AFTRS Creative Fellowship in 2010.[12]


  1. ^ Wallworth, Lynette. "Coral Rekindling Venus". Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lynette Wallworth – Hold: Vessel". Forma. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Lynette Wallworth – Evolution of Fearlessness". Forma. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Lynette Wallworth – Invisible by Night". Forma. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Nice Device: Still/Waiting2". Nice Device. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lynette Wallworth – Duality of Light (solo show)". Forma. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Lynette Wallworth – Kafka Fragmente". Forma. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "We don't need a map: a Martu experience of the Western Desert". 
  9. ^ "Lynette Wallworth – Coral Rekindling Venus". Coral Rekindling Venus. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Coral Rekindling Venus". 
  11. ^ "ibid". 
  12. ^ "Lynette Wallworth". Exploratorium. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 

External links[edit]