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Louise Fowler-Smith, director of the Imaging the Land International Research Initiative (ILIRI, COFA, UNSW), is interested in promoting new ways of perceiving the land in the 21st century. She believes that how we contemplate the land affects how we treat it.
Fowler-Smith's multi disciplinary practice includes collaboration with engineers and architects. One such collaboration has produced a feasibility study and business plan for a sustainable "water tank" house built from recycled materials. Fowler-Smith plans to build this as a museum dedicated to environmental art and sustainability in Broken Hill, NSW. At the UNSW Fowlers Gap Research Station, north of Broken Hill, she has established the ILIRI ‘Creative Laboratory’ – a large area of land (approximately 1000 acres) that has been selected for exclusive use by artists and cross-disciplinary teams to explore their relationship with the environment and experiment with sustainable projects.
Fowler-Smith also works as a photographic artist, with her most recent work focusing on the veneration of trees—a subject she was drawn to not only for the magnitude of its environmental significance, but its universal and pan-religious symbolic importance. Her investigation and resulting work takes as its subject landscapes across Australia and India.
Fowler-Smith has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and has presented papers at numerous conferences in the USA, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia—including the 2009 Land/Art Conference in New Mexico and the 2010 International Association for Environmental Philosophy Conference "Geo-Aesthetics in the Anthropocene".