TransHuman Saunter – Session #1
TransHuman Saunter is a geolocative artwork that documents the entanglements of four women artists with the Indian Banyan Tree. The digital entanglements are overlaid over Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and feature personal narratives on the Indian Subcontinent nonhuman on themes of colonialism, mythologies, migration, oppressions and everyday living in Australia.
TransHuman Saunter is a geolocative artwork that documents the entanglements of four women artists with the multispecies ecosystem of the Indian Banyan Tree. These entanglements constitute re-created and re-imagined narratives of their relationship with the nonhuman colonised Indian Subcontinent being: Indian Banyan Tree.
The work further builds its foundations on themes of multispecies relationships with the “nonhuman” Banyan Tree, colonialism, mythologies, migration, oppressions, the artists’ own micro-narratives of being ‘lesser’ humans and everyday living in Australia. This is further juxtaposed with human-planetary crises of climate change, forest fires, a pandemic: all psychosis of disjointed human/nonhuman entanglements.
This artwork digitally locates itself in Australia and on the Indigenous land of the Turrbal and Yuggera people. In engaging with the Indian Banyan Tree, the artists hope to provide a space to transcend and disrupt colonial forms of knowing so as to heal and repair. The work is a contribution to the pluralistic ways of knowing through an evocation of the narratives of the unseen: the “lesser”-humans, the “non”-humans, and the “non”-beings.
Agapetos Fa’aleava / Lan Thanh Ha / Naputsamohn Junpiban / Natasha Narain / Kavita Gonsalves
TransHuman Saunter Artist | Samoa-Australia | Filmmaker
Agapetos is currently a PhD Candidate within the Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology. She has worked as an independent Pasefika Producer in Brisbane for over four years. As a proud Samoan woman, she creates stories using film, still images and her voice to reimagine her ancestors’ journey. Stories are a way for her to navigate her way through life’s complications and finding her own truth and strength. She sees the Banyan Tree as a metaphor for her own family: their hard journey to find opportunities to create their own stories on foreign, sacred lands. This piece of work is a reflection of the past with prayers for a better tomorrow.
Lan Thanh Ha
TransHuman Saunter Artist | Vietnam | Digital Artist & Storyteller
Lan is a digital storyteller with advertising experience and currently, a digital communication student at QUT. She studies how people communicate is observing how people including me talk, argue, love, lie and fight in daily life and on digital media. In essence, it's about making sense of how as a social species connect and disconnect through multiple channels. Her work in TransHuman Saunter explores the identity conflict of an individual coming from a developing country with a colonisation and war past experiences to a Western country. Taking inspiration from the image of Indian banyan trees residing in Brisbane, Australia, the work delves into the similarity between migrants or temporary visitors and exotic trees in relation to a foreign land. The combination of poem, visual, and work aims to engage audiences to travel to familiar locations in Brisbane from a different lens, straddling a line between present and past, war and peace, and of developing and developed status of a country.
TransHuman Saunter Artist | Thailand | Experience Designer
Naputsamohn is currently a PhD Candidate at QUT’s Creative Industries. She was a lecturer at Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University Thailand. She has received her BA Exhibition Design at Chulalongkorn University and her MA with distinction in Communication Design from University of Southampton, UK. With her background in spatial design, experience design and storytelling, Naputsamohn has developed a specialty in museum experience implementations, focusing on a series of creative methods and interactive design to present in portable exhibition techniques for museums in Thailand. Her research and design focus on participatory approach and experience design in the areas of design for health and wellbeing, interactive media and community engagement. Her work in TransHuman Saunter explores the symbiosis and clash of Positivist and Interpretivist traditions in data visualization. Particular to Interpretivist tradition, she explores Thai spiritual beliefs, historicity and cultural relationships of the Banyan Tree, particularly the Buddhist ecology movement in Thailand.
TransHuman Saunter Artist | India-Australia | Visual Artist
Natasha is pursuing a practice-led PhD at QUT in Brisbane. Grateful for the encouraging support from her son, Jason, close friends, caring supervisors, peers and loving family, Natasha enjoys working in an open studio space on campus and is deeply appreciative of the financial assistance through the QUT PostGraduate Scholarship, and from working with the Commonwealth Bank in Brisbane. A Bengali Uttar Pradeshi Australian, born into a Defence force family in Wellington, India, Natasha loves to travel and speaks Bengali, Hindi and English. She spent five formative years at Viswa Bharati University in Bengal, developing an interdisciplinary art practice in a campus known for its old trees, libraries and independent creatives. Natasha lived in Melbourne and London before settling down in Brisbane in 2004. While embracing her new home culture, she is committed to reconnecting with her maternal heritage of narrative quilting called the Kantha and expanding Kantha's potential as a cross-cultural visual language.
Kantha forms a lens through which she incorporates the personal and the local. It is both a starting point and a place of departure as she extends the materials and methods into a large body of interrelated, non-traditional works. Being with Banyan trees felt like a homecoming in India and Australia, a chance to work with peers, create new photographic and audio works, while also indulging her love of history and poetry.
TransHuman Saunter Creative Producer | India
With a background in architecture and design, Kavita Gonsalves was involved in multi-disciplinary projects such as workplace design, design research, graphic design, architecture, urban design and design strategy. She co-founded street-based guerrilla movements such as Multicoloured Dreamz (Helsinki, Finland) and the Bake Collective (Bombay & Bangalore, India). She was a SI Young Connector of the Future 2014 Fellow. Currently, she is a PhD candidate with the Urban Informatics Research Group at the QUT Design Lab. In her research, she focuses on using low-tech augmented reality and interactive storytelling as tools for marginalised communities to engage in creative placemaking. She facilitated the place-based community storytelling project Chatty Bench Project (CBP) with community organisations Communify, Village Church and Kelvin Grove Urban Village (KGUV) Principal Body Corporate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 CBP storytellers of KGUV co-designed and created digital stories based on their lived experiences. They augmented the landscape of KGUV with these stories. Building on the work of CBP, TransHuman Saunter consists of 4 women artists who create geolocated experiences on their relationship with the Great Indian Banyan Tree. The micronarratives that intertwine loss, migration, mythologies, colonisation, lesser humans, and nonhuman overlay over Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens and City Centre in TransHuman Saunter.