Art to protect the environment

Visitors to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) are transforming their artistic flair into a greener future for an iconic Melbourne landmark.

A new La Trobe University initiative, inspired by one of the world’s most influential living artists currently featuring at the NGV in David Hockney: Current, will see a virtual forest of hand drawn digital trees and plants translated into a real-life forest, creating long-lasting benefits for the environment.

Under the initiative, Living Landscapes, visitors to the NGV’s Friday Nights program create their own personalised tree on an iPad using the colours and brush strokes inspired by David Hockney. They move their tablet over a virtual scale replica of the University’s 30-hectare Wildlife Sanctuary and digitally “plant” their creation amid an evolving forest of digital trees already created by other visitors on the night.

For each of the estimated 4000 virtual plants created during the initiative, La Trobe will plant one within the Sanctuary, which was set up 50 years ago to protect local flora and fauna.

Sanctuary Senior Coordinator Andrew Stocker said the University was delighted to offer an experience that allowed gallery visitors to create their own Hockney-inspired art while also helping protect an iconic Melbourne habitat.

Living Landscapes embodies David Hockney’s unique style by blending technology with old-style painting of beautiful flora and landscapes,” he said.

“Participants are not only creating their own unique piece of digital art, they are also making a lasting contribution to a sustainable future.”

This is the fourth year La Trobe has partnered with the NGV in bringing inspirational exhibitions to the community and is the only University to provide their students access to an accredited art subject conducted within the gallery’s exhibition spaces.

Living Landscapes will run during every NGV Friday Night from 6pm – 10pm until March 10. Tickets available from NGV.MELBOURNE.

La Trobe University is the official Learning Partner of the NGV.