Creative Arts Research Institute was established on 1 July 2021.

Here you can find a small taste of art-based research projects that demonstrate the depth and breadth of our interdisciplinary artistic contributions. These will be regularly updated to showcase research from more than 50 members across creative and performing arts and design.


Dr Dale Harding, Post-Doc Fellow, Queensland College of Art

What might happen if more of Central Queensland’s Murri community see themselves reflected among and within the histories of Australian Art rather than through the lenses of people who came, saw and left again? Dr Dale Harding’s aim, as a researcher is that we will witness more and more cultural forms being generated, shared, lived and consolidated among the daily and seasonal lives of Aboriginal people throughout Central Queensland.  Using the word ‘consolidated’ as a priority, his work  proposes that spectators are an auxiliary motivation for living cultural lives, and that contemporary art is an extension or a continuation of the home lives and social lives of communities.

Image (left): Photo credit: Joseph Ruckli.


Paul Dean, Queensland Conservatorium

Symphony is an orchestral work commissioned by the Australia World Orchestra that premiered in June 2021 at the Sydney Opera House. The piece began life as a Symphonic Requiem for a Dying Planet. However, with 2020 bringing with it the Black Summer bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and 24/7 news broadcasts full of doom and gloom, the title was changed to Symphony. This shift allows the audiences to make up their own minds on the meaning of the piece.


Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Queensland Conservatorium

Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet's ARC Future Fellowship (2021-2025), Creative Change, will explore the role that community music can play in addressing social inequalities in Australia. The research will map and analyse a range of social outcomes fostered by community music, and investigate how these outcomes can enrich current place-based efforts to address social disadvantage. Through national sector mapping, an innovative framework, and community case studies with leading organisations (such as Big hART, Queensland Music Festival, and Play it Forward), outcomes will include new interdisciplinary knowledge, music and social sector development, and greater creativity in place-based policies tackling inequalities.


Naomi Sunderland, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre

First Nations’ Music as a Determinant of Health is an ARC Discovery Indigenous project that is one of the first concentrated attempts to explore the potential for music to promote positive cultural and social health determinants, alleviate negative ones, and contribute to First Nations’ health and wellbeing overall. It is led by A/Prof Naomi Sunderland, Wiradjuri, Australia Research Council Fellow, singer songwriter and musician.


Tanja Beer, Queensland College of Art

Ecoscenography: An Introduction of Ecological Design for Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming) examines the emerging concept of ‘Ecoscenography’; a neologism that researcher Tanja Beer uses to bring performance design into an increased awareness of broader ecologies and global issues. In the book, Tanja argue that the current ecological crisis calls for a new philosophy for theatre production that promotes more ecological (holistic, interconnected and symbiotic) ways of doing things. Related industries such as architecture, product design and fashion have already shown how a sustainable ethic can create exciting new processes and aesthetics. However, we are yet to fully grasp what a socially and environmentally conscious approach entails for the performing arts. Ecoscenography aims to fill this gap, outlining Tanja’s research in the field over the past decade, and showcasing the burgeoning body of work being produced by ecological theatre-makers around the world.


Dr Peter Hegedus, Griffith Film School

Dr Peter Hegedus’s To Never Forget is one of the flagship projects of the recently funded Disrupting Violence Beacon. It explores the story behind an atrocity photograph taken in 1941 on the beaches of Latvia, wherein the Nazis photographed their victims prior to executing them. To Never Forget will be a 360-degree documentary film spanning 26minutes. It is intended to appeal to younger people through innovative technology emphasising how prejudice, if not challenged, can lead to extreme violence. The documentary will be broadcast on the ABC in 2022.


Professor Bianca Beetson, Indigenous Research Unit

Professor Beetson’s new work to be displayed on the side of the Telstra Exchange building in Dubbo,  uses imagery expressive of Country, cultural knowledge, and connected communities. The design is developed through Cyanotyping, a process using sun – the giver of life – to develop the image, using native grass seeds, which grow along the three Dubbo rivers, to create a pattern representative of a river. Beetson’s states ““The river represents the Wiradjuri people and the communities connected to and by the three rivers and its tributaries. The river also being a giver to life to the community and the central life blood of the community. Without the water, we would not survive.”


Dr. Julie Fragar, Queensland College of Art

Julie Fragar's current research concerns painterly responses to the relationship between individuals and our largest institutions such as the court, the parliament and the hospital. Undertaking periods of close first-person observation, Julie seeks knowledges of institutional experience specifically revealed through the visual.

Image (right): Julie Fragar, 2021, Managing Reality, oil on board, 60 x 90cm. Photo credit: Ashley Barber.


Zeynep Akcay, Grifith Film School

James the Rat King eXperience is a multimedia and a truly cross disciplinary project by Dr Zeynep Akcay (GFS) in collaboration with Dr Nicola Hooper, narrating the story of 1900-1907 Bubonic Plague in Brisbane. The work, featuring an animated film and a website, was exhibited by scanning QR codes throughout Southbank Parklands along the "Rat Trail" as part of Curiocity Brisbane.

View the trailer.

Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre

As part of the Creative Arts Research Institute, the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre undertakes cutting-edge research that tackles the complex and multifaceted role that music plays in contemporary society.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this Country on which we live and work. We recognise their continuing connection to place and culture, and pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.