Australasian Animal Studies Association

Phillips, Dr Perdita

Independent Scholar

Profile Picture
Research interests / activities

Animals in contemporary art; interactions between human and nonhuman worlds; animals in science; critical natural histories; animal vocalisation and bioacoustics; interactions of nonhumans, humans, and places; walking as a methodology of ecosystemic thinking; history of science, especially field sciences such as ecology; eco-criticism and environmental ethics.

Currently working on Stygofauna, fossils and groundwater, harnessing the speculative possibilities of contemporary art to envision new environmental futures. My work with animals overlaps with the wider network of nonhuman players from ecosystems to biomes, where I consider the notion of ‘porous repair’ or caring and repairing that embraces ambiguous and complex interactions. Recently accepted for publication is ‘Postcards from the Underground: Walkshopping as Relationing Otherwise’ by Astrida Neimanis and myself for the Journal of Public Pedagogies. This work follows on from ‘Going underground: Multispecies encounters with rocks and water in the shadow of extraction’, Collaborative event with Astrida Neimanis, 2017.


Outputs: Exhibiting artist for 29 years:
Grants and prizes related to animal works:
2017 Artsource Global City Residency Artspace, Sydney, Australia (DCA funding)
2016 NAVA Australian Artists’ Grant for Direct Address travelling exhibition
2010 Department of Culture and the Arts funding for Birdlife limited edition book (as Lethologica Press)
2009-2010 Australia Council Inter Arts Grant with SymbioticA for The Sixth Shore project at SymbioticA for the Adaptation project at Lake Clifton, Mandurah
2007-2008 Australia Council Inter Arts SymbioticA Art and Science Residency for Green, Grey or Dull Silver: art and the behavioural ecology of the Great Bowerbird, Chlamydera Nuchalis

Solo Exhibitions with animal-related works:
2009 In Vetland exhibition and Art meets Veterinary Science residency School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University
2007 Thinking skin (a collaboration with Jane Mulcock), Animals and Society II: Considering animals, Old Woolstores, Hobart
2006 Vade mecum, exhibition and residency Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth 2006 fieldwork/fieldwalking, Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, Fremantle
2004 Four tales from natural history, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth
2001 Termitaria I Caution Workers Below and Termitaria II Fragmented Islands, Ballidu Art Lodge, Ballidu
Pasteur. Synecdoche., Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
1997 Workers on Paper, Gallery 1434, University of California, Santa Barbara

Group shows with animal-related works:
2019 Community Invitation Art Award, City of Joondalup
2018 Overwintering Project: Mapping Sanctuary at Moonah Arts Centre, Moonah
2018 Here&Now2018: Besides, it is always the others who die, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia
2018 Make Known: The Exquisite Order of Infinite Variation, UNSW Galleries, Sydney
2018 Frankenstein GRID, Stanford University outdoor projection festival, California
2017 Incinerator Art Award, Incinerator Gallery, Moonee Ponds
2017 Another Green World, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo
2017 Objectillogica – a modern wunderkammer, The Holmes à Court Gallery at Vasse Felix
2016 Radical Ecologies, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth
2016 enhancement: MAKING SENSE, i3S Instituto de Investigãçao e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto
2016 Delegate exhibition, H R Gallop Gallery, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.
2016 Direct Address, Window Gallery, Eastern Riverina Arts, Wagga Wagga
2016 Love Letters to other worlds as part of Hacking the Anthropocene, IWCS Dickson St Space, Newtown
2015 Bimblebox 153 Birds, Impress Printmakers Gallery, Brisbane; touring to Brisbane Writers Festival, State Library of Queensland, Gympie Regional Gallery and Mary Cairncross Rainforest Discovery Centre, Maleny, Queensland
2015 2° – Global Warming and its Environmental Impact, Worldwide site specific works curated by AININ for artCOP21 (Paris).
2015 Portals: Past Present Future, Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle
2014 2014 Community Invitation Art Award, City of Joondalup
2014-2015 Horizon: Exploring the West Coast with The Clipperton Project, Fremantle Arts Centre
2013 Novel Ecologies, The Cross Arts Projects, Sydney
2012 Yonder, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth
2011 Animals, People – A Shared Environment, POP Gallery, Brisbane
2009 In Vetland: conversations in Three animal artists: Three visions, Newcastle Art Space, Newcastle
2007 The System of Nature, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands
2006 Chart, John Curtin Art Gallery, Curtin University.

Papers, texts and presentations:
2019 Fossil (III), Lost Rocks series, A Published Event, Hobart
2015 ‘Termitaria: Underground Life’ at Neolife SLSA 2015 Conference, 1-3 October, The University of Western Australia
2013 ‘Anticipatory histories, Little Penguins and minisubs: artistic practices in post-sustainable worlds’ at The Aesthetics of Sustainability, Curtin University 3-4 October.
2016 Thirteen figurings: reflections on termites, from below. Animal Studies Journal, 5(1), 23-47.
2016 Night for Day: Anticipating Environmental Futures through Contemporary Art. GeoHumanities, 2(1), 239-247
2014 Beautiful Vermin (Review). Gallery Central, Perth 8 – 29 March 2014. Artlink, 34(2), 114-115.
2013 Observing across scales: Broome Bird Observatory as a site of multiple exchanges. Animal Studies Journal 2 (1) 74-81
2012 Fieldwork with bowerbirds. Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture 20 (Spring): 98-105,
2011 birdlife (with Nandi Chinna, Michael Farrell, Graeme Miles, and Nyanda Smith). Edited by Nyanda Smith and Perdita Phillips. Fremantle: Lethologica Press.
2011 The case of the lengthening legs: cane toads in northern Australia. In J. Bull (Ed.), Animal Movements • Moving Animals: essays on direction, velocity and agency in humanimal encounters (pp. 161-195). Uppsala: Uppsala University.
2010 ‘The case of the lengthening legs: cane toads in northern Australia’ presented at Animal Movements • Moving Animals, 26-28 May, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
Clotted Life and Brittle Waters [Electronic Version]. Landscapes, 3(2) from
2007fieldwork/fieldwalking: art, sauntering and science in the walkingcountry. PhD Visual arts Thesis, Edith Cowan University, Perth
Thinking skin project with anthropologist Jane Mulcock presented at the Animals and Society II: Considering animals, 3-6 July, Old Woolstores, Hobart, Tasmania
A friendly practice. ArtSource Newsletter, Autumn (Resilience: on Art and Environments), 9, 22-23.
The trouble with sustainability. ArtSource Newsletter, Autumn (Resilience: on Art and Environments), 9, 6-8
2005 ‘Transformation, luminance, fading, stranding and walking’ presented at Colour thro’ the looking glass, 29 September, Colour Society of Australia, Fremantle
‘Ordinary wilderness’ presented at Be true to the Earth: Inaugural Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (Australia-New Zealand) 31 March to 1 April 2005, Monash University, Melbourne
2004The’ Soul of the Whiteant’ and other stories talk to public at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery as part of Primates show by Lisa Roet.

Potential areas for collaboration
contemporary art/ecology/science
Potential areas for research supervision
contemporary art with more-than-humans (animals, plants, ecosystems and elements)