|Asst Prof Lucy Davis|
School of Art, Design and Media
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences
- MA Roskilde University 2000
|A visual artist for over 15 years and a writer on art and culture for nearly as long, Lucy Davis' biography includes field research into cultural development, gender, ecology and political theatre amongst Mbororo pastoralist peoples in NW Cameroon; Scenography for a series intercultural theatre initiatives in Denmark; Practice-led research into scapegoat psychology, ritual and performance in Copenhagen; Socially-engaged art collaborations with asylum seekers; Installation art explorations of identity and projection; Research into aesthetic strategies and identitarian ideology in Singapore; An Associate Artist position with The Necessary Stage Theatre company (Singapore) alongside founding and editing the six volume Singapore/Southeast Asian series, FOCAS, Forum on Contemporary Art & Society (2000-2007). |
Lucy's art practice and writing since 2006 has concerned ways in which culture and nature in Southeast Asia are imagined, represented and performed in art, visual culture, heritage and everyday life. She has a particular interest in the Singapore/Malayan Modern Woodcut and since 2008 has been devising ways to recast the form and content of this historic movement in a contemporary macro context of "Cuttings of Wood" (rainforest destruction in Southeast Asia). Another thread in this research follows intersections of natural histories and art practice as well as the cultures and aesthetics of science.
In 2009, Lucy commenced an Artist in Residence with DoubleHelix Tracking Technologies--a Singapore/UK startup who DNA test forest products to certify that these are from legal rather than illegal sources. In 2010 she founded The Migrant Ecologies Project www.migrantecologies.org--an umbrella for arts and ecology initiatives
She currently serves as Area Coordinator for Art History at the school of Art Design and Media where she is assisting in the building of an art history BA curriculum--a first for Singapore university education. She has also designed and taught the following courses: Nature in Art & Visual Culture; City Body Memory Art & Everyday Life in Contemporary Singapore; Southeast Asia Modern & Contemporary Art and a Western Art History Survey specifically targeted at Art, Design & Media students.
Recent artistic projects:
"Jalan Jati (Teak Road)". (An ACRF Tier1 Grant Output) Jalan Jati the film won Promotion Award of the International Competition at Oberhausen Short Film Festival 2012, The project as a whole was Finalist for the French Prix COAL Art & Ecology Prize 2011). Other projects include: "Pioneer Landscape Development Project", part of Martha Rosler’s Singapore Biennale garden project, 2011, "Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part II MAGIC". (RGB startup grant) The Substation, Singapore 2009 & "Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part I. NATURAL HISTORY", Post Museum, Singapore 2009 (The Together Again (Wood:Cut) series was nominated for the APBC Signature Asia Pacific Art Prize Singapore Art Museum 2011) .
Recent art writing projects:
Lucy is currently SEAsia Contributor for ANTENNAE, The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture (UK) www.antennae.org. Her article “In the Company of Trees” was published in the June 2011 “PLANTS” Volume of ANTENNAE and a chapter “Contagion: The Singapore Body Politic the Body of the Cat” in the Considering Animals anthology. Ashgate UK May 2011.
Alongside the publication series FOCAS Forum on Contemporary Art & Society, Lucy has published in The DOCUMENTA #12 READER (Taschen); BROADHSEET Art & Culture (Australia), Art Asia Pacific; (Sydney/New York), Inter-Asia Cultural Studies; (Routledge) NU The Nordic Art Review; (Stockholm).
|KEYWORDS: Art & Ecology; Art & Society; Nature in Art & Visual Cultures; "indigenous"/Southeast Asian Conceptions of Nature; Migrations of Nature & Culture; Cultures of Science; DNA--its possibilities, ideology and poetics; The Posthuman Turn; Animal Studies; Wildlife Trafficking; Cultural & Natural Heritage; Material Cultures; Nature as Agent; Material-Led Research. Trees. Wood. Birds. |
Lucy's current art practice and writing revolves around the may ways in which nature intervenes in human cultural life in Southeast Asia.
Lucy is founder of the Migrant Ecologies Project www.migrantecologies.org.
Work with the Migrant Ecologies Project involves a three year art practice and writing research into of stories of, and relationships between, humans, wood and trees and humans in our region, where trees and wood are explored as material, magic, metaphor, ecological resource and historical agent. Part of the research for the Migrant Ecologies Project is carried out while Lucy is Artist in Residence with Double Helix Timber Tracking Technologies--a company dedicated to combatting illegal logging through DNA profiling of timber.
The conceptual part of this research engages theoretical intersections of contemporary art practice, posthumanist theory and material culture. The aesthetic explorations in this research involve a reflexive recasting of the material, form and content of the Singapore modern woodcut movement through myriad histories of art, nature and life in Singapore/Malaya. The first two productions coming out of the Wood:Cut; research were exhibited at Post Museum gallery in May 2009 and The Substation art centre, Singapore November 2009 respectively. Both received considerable local and international press attention. These exhibitions comprise outputs from an RGB startup grant. Outputs were nominated for the Asia Pacific Signature Art Prize organized by the Singapore Art Museum in July of 2011
Stage three of research process involves the awarding of a Tier 1 Grant (March 2010) for "The Secret Lives of Forest Products -- Tracing “memories” of Southeast Asian forest products in time & space". This is an interdisciplinary investigation combining contemporary art, biology and DNA timber tracking technology in collaboration with Double Helix Tracking Technologies, where Lucy is currently Artist in Residence. [doublehelixtracking.net] Lucy is PI on this project. Co-PI's and collaborators are Shannon Castleman (ADM), Shankar Iyerh (Double Helix Tracking Technologies), Shawn Lum (NSSE NIE, President of Nature Society of Singapore) and Dr Andrew Lowe. Chair Plant Biology, University of Adelaide.
* Outputs from this Tier 1 grant were Finalists for the French Prix COAL Art & Ecology Prize 2011--the very first year of the grant.
* An animated film from this grant Jalan Jati (Teak Road) won Promotion Award for the International Competition, Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Germany 2012.
* The film will also be screened at Explora Museum New Mexico as part of ISEA International Symposium of Electonic Arts MACHINE WILDERNESS September 2012 USA.
in 2012 Lucy was awarded a second Tier 1 Grant for research into relations between humans and birds in Tanglin Halt--along the former KTM railway line in Singapore. The project comprises an interdisciplinary science, sociology, new media, cinema. visual art and theatre approach to the nurturing of urban heritage and ecology. Co-PI's are Shawn Lum (NSSE NIE, President of Nature Society of Singapore) Marijke Van Kets (Film ADM) Alvin Tan, (Artisitic Director The Necessary Stage), Daniel Goh (Sociology NUS).
Alongside the above, Lucy has also an ongoing interest and engagement in the role of public intellectuals and the position of academics and artists in civil society in Singapore/Southeast Asia.
|Research Grant |
- Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2010-)
- Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2012-)
- RCC (2009-)
|Current Projects |
- Bird People in Tanglin Halt
- The Secret Lives of Forest Products
- Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part II: Animation Sections: William Farquhar to Alfred Russell Wallace
- Davis Lucy. (2012). Wings (Metamorphosis)Lucid Dreams in the Reverie of the Real: Lee Wen Solo Exhibition at Singapore Art Museum. (pp. TBC)..
- Davis Lucy, Camilla Calamandrei. (2011). The Tiger Next Door.. Antennae Journal Of Nature In Visual Culture, Dec 2011(Animal Rights), web.
- Davis Lucy. (2011). Jalan Jati (Teak Road). The Sustainability Review, 2011/11/1645/(2011/11/1645/), web.
- L.Davis. (2011). Chapter Title: Contagion: The Body of the Street Cat & The Singapore Body Politic"Considering Animals". Australia: Ashgate Publishing UK.
- L Davis. (2011). "In the Company of Trees". Antennae Journal Of Nature In Visual Culture, 17(May 2011), web.