Making Audible the Silence of Extinction: The Memorial Arts Project

By Robyn Glade-Wright and Reesa Sorin.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 8, 2015 $US5.00

The value of art, according to the theory of cognitive aesthetics, lies in the way that art can enlarge our understanding and knowledge of life. Memorial: The Silence of Extinction is a community art project designed to heighten awareness of the annual loss of plant and animal species due to extinction. People from around the globe were invited to commemorate the loss of a species by creating an image that was placed in a pocket in a panel in the Memorial work of art. As images were added, Memorial grew until it spanned over fifty metres, revealing thousands of images. Memorial was exhibited at venues in Australia and globally. During one of these exhibitions, participants were asked to complete a survey about their understandings of extinction before, during and after creating their image. Findings from their surveys showed that involvement in this community art project was engaging and thought provoking. Further, participants seemed to gain an enhanced understanding of the scale and currency of extinction.

Keywords: Community Arts, Extinction, Empathy through Participation

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 10, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 8, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 602.979KB)).

Dr. Robyn Glade-Wright

Senior Lecturer, School of Creative Arts, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Reesa Sorin

Associate Professor, School of Education, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia