Perdita Phillips

Further information

Country of origin




Dr Perdita Phillips is a Western Australian contemporary artist interested in ecosystemic thinking and our interactions with nonhuman worlds.


Phillips works across installation, photography, digital projects, sound and new media.

Exhibitions include:

  • In Vetland, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University (2009, solo)
  • The Yellow Vest Syndrome, Fremantle Arts Centre, (2009)
  • The System of Nature, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery (2007)
  • Thinking skin (a collaboration with Jane Mulcock at Animals and Society II: Considering animals, Hobart)
  • Fieldwork/fieldwalking, Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery (2006).

Other residencies include:

  • Art meets Veterinary Science residency, Murdoch University School of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences (2009)
  • Walking and Art, Banff Centre, Canada (2007).

Research projects

The Sixth Shore

This soundscape research project involved the development of a GPS-based precision positioning system and programmable digital soundscape

The work was based around the ecology of Lake Clifton, south of Mandurah, Western Australia. Participants walked through a field of sounds on the shore of the Lake with the nature of their experiences being determined by the route that they took.

The project involved six conceptual ‘shores’.

Lake Clifton is home to a threatened ecological community of thrombolites and the first shore brings together notions of deep thrombolitic time. The Lake formed relatively geologically recently from a lagoon closed off from the sea (shore 2: lake formation and seashore changes) and Aboriginal peoples have inhabited the area over much longer timescales (shore 3: cultivated landscapes: indigenous cultures). Lake Clifton is a Ramsar listed wetland used by waders migrating annually from Siberia and the endangered hooded plover (shore 4). Clearing, increased urbanisation and climate change have had significant effects on the lake.

Acknowledging these histories and then setting a path for the future combining all the aspects of Lake Clifton, form the last two ‘shores’ in this project.


Australia Council Inter Arts program, Myer Foundation.

  • Curtin University Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering and ICT, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Design Feats Pty Ltd
Period of research

July 2009 – November 2010.

Green, Grey or Dull Silver

A project interacting with the world of the Great Bowerbird, Chlamydera Nuchalis.

Green grey and dull silver are the colours preferentially collected by the male bird. The male groups different types of objects in specific areas of the display bower and the spends time each day arranging and rearranging his collection, renovating his bower, and even stealing from or wrecking the bowers of his rivals.

Work with the bowerbirds included recording mimicry, a study of the shape preferences at seven bowers using identically weighted green coloured cylinders, cubes and rectangular prisms and examining the transfer of objects between bowers. From a small series of experiments it was discovered that there is a preferences for rounder objects, but also that individual birds had consistent but subtly differing preferences. The project used ‘conversational’ strategies to shift the perspective on the way we relate to other forms of life and to show how non-humans actively inscribe themselves upon our world.

This project led to the sound installation The world has no shortage of things (the world of the Great Bowerbird), as part of The System of Nature, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia, 2007.


Australia Council Inter Arts program

Period of research

July – December 2007 and June – November 2008