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Roberts, Lisa (1949 - )

8 August 1949
Norfolk Island, New South Wales, Australia


Lisa Roberts is an exhibiting artist, community artist and interactive publisher. She has created films and animations, produced exhibitions, and been involved in several performances over a long career beginning in the early 1970s.


Lisa Roberts completed her Dip. Art, Dip. Ed, Grad. Dip. Film & TV, M.A, Animation and Interactive Media, PhD, New Media Arts. Most of her studies were undertaken in Melbourne.

Over the course of her career Roberts has received several grants, prizes and scholarships, including the National Gallery Drawing Prize (1971); three Australian Film Commission grants (1981, 1991, 1994); the Melbourne Fringe Festival Special Commendation Award for New Short Works (1995); Australian Postgraduate Award (2007-2010); Climate Change Cluster Creative Fellowship (2014).

Roberts has received funding from the Australia Council to produce art work for exhibition. She has also worked as a lecturer, animator, illustrator, judge in film awards, assessor, curator and artist in residence (Manangatang, 1992, Wesley College, 1994, Scotch Oakburn College, 1997, Launceston College, 1998, on the Aurora Australis, V7, to Davis and Mawson, Antarctica, 2002), at University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Science (2012-2016).

As a result of her residency in Antarctica, as part of the Australian Antarctic Division Humanities Programme, she developed an interactive CDROM and other art works for exhibition at New Parliament House, Canberra (Aust.) Much of this work is held at the Australian Antarctic Division headquarters in Kingston, Tasmania, and at the Tasmanian State Library in Hobart. Her PhD thesis 'Antarctic Animation: Expanding Perceptions with Gesture and Line' was awarded by the University of New South Wales in April 2010.

In 2011 Roberts built on this research to develop and to lead the Living Data program, which makes known interactions that happen between scientists and artists and changes in understanding that evolve through this process. The Living Data program is based in Sydney and has initiated and contributed to local, national and international conferences and festivals:

  • Antarctica: Music, Sounds, Cultural Connections conference, Australian National University, Canberra (2011);
  • Eora Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Abercrombie, Sydney (2012);
  • Art & About Sydney Customs House Foyer, Circular Quay, Sydney (2012);
  • IV Antarctica Art and Culture International Conference & Festival Oceanic Living Data installation, Universidad Nacional de Tres Febrero, Buenos Aires (2012);
  • Animating Change exhibition and forum for the Ultimo Science Festival at The Muse, Ultimo TAFE, Sydney (2012);
  • Wilderness alive: Reconnecting through a collaborative research practice at the University of Tasmania Imaging NatureII Conference;
  • Oceanic Living Data installation, Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, CCAMLR, Hobart (2012);
  • Living Data and Dance installation, Sentinel meeting, CCAMLR, Hobart (2012);
  • Living Data and Dance performance, Rozelle School of Visual Arts (2012),
  • Sydney; Dreams and Imagination conference presentation, Sydney (2012);
  • Living Data: Art From Climate ScienceScience Art & Talks at the Muse gallery for the Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney (2013);
  • Data for Action forum for the Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney (2013);
  • AAD CCAMLR reception Hobart, Tasmania (2013);
  • Art & Science Co-creations for the Australasian Society for Phytology and Aquatic Botany conference at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS)(2013);
  • Presentations & Workshops for the Beijing City International School, China (2014);
  • Evolving Conversations: Interactive Exhibition and Forum for University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and Ultimo Science Festival (2014);
  • Living Data: Align Installation for Hothouse Waterways exhibition, Central Park, Sydney (2014);
  • Installation for Climarte: Art of the Anthropocene: Cabinet of Curiosities Australian Galleries, Melbourne (2014);
  • Living Data: Responses of Living things (including us) to change, Final talk for TIERS (Trends In Environmental Research Series) at University of Technology Sydney (2014);
  • Walk Through Living Data tour of UTS for the inaugural Sydney Science Festival (2015);
  • Living Data: Cultural perspectives on Ocean systems, Talk for Saltwater Forum, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney (2015);
  • Living Data installation for the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (2015);
  • Oceanic Bliss installation for Sur Polar exhibition at Complutense University, Madrid (2016);
  • Street Art & Science, Newtown, Sydney (2016);
  • Oceanic Bliss presentations and installation for Ku-ring-gai Ph Art & Science project, Eramboo Artist Environment and Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney (2016).

Roberts' work is held in a variety of places, including the University of Melbourne, what was the State bank of Victoria, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Wesley College (Melbourne), Queensland University of Technology, the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Technology Sydney, and Launceston General Hospital, where she was a member of the Launceston General Hospital Visual Arts Committee in 2004. In 2005, Roberts worked as a full time teacher of Art and English at the Conservatorium High School, Sydney. Since then she has participated in exhibitions and conferences on Antarctic art and science, in Sydney (Aust.) 2006, Buenos Aires (BA) 2008, Christchurch (NZ) 2008, and Hobart (Aust.) 2010. Her current work is with scientists at the Australian Antarctic Division and the University of Technology Sydney, developing animations and other art works that contribute to accurate communication of our changing natural systems.

Sources used to compile this entry: Germaine, Max, A dictionary of women artists of Australia, Tortola, BVI : Craftsman House BVI, Roseville East, NSW, c.1991, 486 pp; Personal Correspondence via email with Lisa Roberts.

Lisa Roberts (with Clare Land)

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