Issue 9
Monday, 02 November 2020
Charles Darwin University
Honours student Sue Wegener with some of the images that were projected onto the water tank at Casuarina campus
Honours student Sue Wegener with some of the images that were projected onto the water tank at Casuarina campus

Art student animates water tank ‘canvas’

By Patrick Nelson

There are not many who can boast bigger “canvases” than those used to host the work of Charles Darwin University Visual Arts Honours student Sue Wegener.

Sue, a classically trained artist who describes herself as an architectural storyteller, has had her works projected on to the façade of historical buildings, on to grain solos and most recently, the wall of the Casuarina campus water tank.

The exhibition formed the final assessment of Sue’s Honours thesis, which focused on storytelling through animation.

“The type of architectural storytelling that I practise involves the creation of animated stories of importance to a community, and projecting them to audiences in large-scale open settings,” Sue said.

“It’s art that is emotionally relevant to its users and inhabitants, and which brings communities together to express their unique stories.”

She credits a 2006 exhibition by international artist-animator William Kentridge as a turning point.

“His animated art opened my eyes to a new world of expression where art and movement shared stories of historical importance. Animation could convey depth of meaning for artist and audience beyond that of the still image,” Sue said.

“I loved that I could immerse myself in the overwhelming experiment of art.”

Sue also cited her adult diagnosis with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a major turning point.

"Initially devastated, the diagnosis helped me understand that my brain works differently, which has helped me overcome personal insecurity towards exploring artistic diversity,” she said. “Today I thrive on allowing spontaneous and free flowing ideas on form, structure and content guide and define my arts practice and work projects.”

Sue said she was grateful for three years’ experience as a mentee with South Australian award-winning projection art specialists Illuminart.

“Illuminart’s architectural storytelling model has taught me best practice skills in community consultation, historical research and outdoor projection,” she said. “It has had a profound impact in the conscious analysis and development of my creative work.

“I animated photographs and illustrations, finding creative inspiration in new ways of depicting people, humour, animals and objects.”