Living Landscapes – Where Art Meets The Environment

You drew it; we planted it

La Trobe’s Living Landscapes allows participants to use their artistic talents to help protect a vital wildlife habitat. This unique experience that was inspired by the NGV’s exhibition of arguably one of the world’s most influential living artists, David Hockney: Current.

Hockney’s passion for the environment, landscapes and innovative technology was a natural fit to create Living Landscapes allowing people to create a plant on an iPad using Hockney-style colours and brush strokes. Then using Augmented Reality (AR) they scanned their iPad over a scale replica of the University’s 30-hectare Wildlife Sanctuary and digitally “planted” their creation amid an evolving virtual forest that grew as more drawings were added.

During the NGV’s Major Spring/ Summer exhibition in 2017, each of the virtual plants created, one was planted in reality at La Trobe’s Wildlife Sanctuary, a vital outdoor laboratory for students, researchers and the community. Set on 30-hectares within 16kms of Melbourne’s CBD at our Bundoora campus, the sanctuary is home to over 250 native plants and a range of wildlife that includes eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, emus and possums.

Living Landscapes continues to educate and inspire future generations through La Trobe’s tranformative education experiences for school students. View the online gallery of the virtual forests.

The Learning Partner behind the NGV

La Trobe’s partnership with the NGV focusses on bringing inspirational exhibitions to the community and providing an understanding of the themes and stories of the artists. Since 2013 the University has provided our academic experts to support the exhibitions Melbourne Now (2013/2014), Jean Paul Gaultier (2014/2015), Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei (2015/2016) David Hockney: Current (2016/2017) and most recently the NGV Triennial (2017/2018).

As a university, we love bold ideas that push the boundaries and tackle the big issues of our time, and we believe that the arts are the perfect platform for exploring social, cultural and political themes. We recognised these values in the NGV, and have partnered with Australia’s leading gallery to provide our students with unique industry experiences and connections. Also, we create innovative technology to enhance the gallery visitor’s experience and demonstrate La Trobe’s expertise across many disciplines.