Sounding Botany Bay

Visual Arts
Timothy Nohe: Sounding Botany Bay
February 12 – March 31
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Botany Bay/Kamay is one of Australia’s most significant cultural and natural sites. For many thousands of years the land adjacent to Kamay was an important source of food, place of trade, and site of spiritual importance to a number of Aboriginal clans. This location was a significant Botany Bay/Kamay is one of Australia’s most significant cultural and natural sites. This location was a significant point of both physical and cultural conflict: HMS Endeavour, the first ship carrying British explorers and colonists, landed on the southern shores of Kamay — renamed, at this time, Botany Bay — in 1770. Today, Botany Bay is an unusual clash of pristine national park land home to a diverse but delicate marine ecosystem, and heavily industrialized areas including Sydney’s main cargo seaport and the desalinization plant, oil refinery, sewer treatment facility, and miles of industrial pipelines that line the shores.

The intermedia project Sounding Botany Bay presents documentary photographs, audio compositions and video of Botany Bay by artist Timothy Nohe. The rich voices, sounds and sights of the bay are blended into an aural and visual landscape that heightens and contrasts what is, and has been, so that the listener may experience the past and contemporary complexity of Botany Bay, Australia. Change and controversy inexorably swept the bay as Nohe worked to document his observations and discoveries. “In the nine years that I worked on this project, I witnessed and recorded change that astounded me,” he said. “One must contrast the epoch of Aboriginal stewardship of the Bay, with the radical reshaping of the environment after the founding of Modern Australia.” The resulting artwork questions the future of the Bay and also instills reflection of similar shifting landscapes around the globe, near and far.

Timothy Nohe is an artist and educator engaging traditional and electronic media in daily life and public places. His artwork has been focused on sustainability and place, intermedia works, and sound scores for dance and video. Nohe was the recipient of a 2006 Fulbright Senior Scholar Award from the Australian-American Fulbright Commission Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant in 2011. Four Maryland State Arts Council awards have supported his work in the area of Music Composition, Non-Classical; Media; New Genre and Installation/Sculpture. Nohe has also been recognized with a Creative Baltimore Award. In 2015 the Warnock Foundation recognized his interdisciplinary work in urban forests with a Social Innovator award. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) and a tenured Professor of Visual Arts at UMBC. Nohe has strong ties to Australia, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; as an Artist in Residence at the Centre for Creative Arts at La Trobe University, and on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Unlikely, based in Melbourne.

Admission to the exhibition is free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours:  Monday – Friday:  10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Thursdays open until 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday and Sunday:  12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Note that the gallery will be closed on Sunday, March 13, Saturday, March 19 and at 5pm on Thursday, March 17 during spring break.

Public Lecture:
Tuesday, February 16 at 4:00 p.m., Timothy Nohe will present a public talk on this work. Click here for more information.

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