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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
11 September 2003
Austrian artist Nin Brudermann will soon be adding Antarctica to the list of remote places where she has captured images of the launch of meteorological balloons - and it's all in the name of art.
Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Antarctic and Bureau of Meteorology, Dr Sharman Stone said that Ms Brudermann's opportunity of a life-time was through her winning an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship valued at around $76,000.
"Ms Brudermann is one of six Australian Antarctic Arts Fellows to travel south on the Australian Antarctic base supply ships this year to help communicate the beauty and fragility of the 42 percent of Antarctica that Australia protects," Dr Stone said.
"Currently based in New York, Ms Brudermann is coordinating a worldwide art project of images taken of and from weather balloons launched from remote and isolated locations.
"Twice a day at noon and midnight Greenwich time, 2,000 weather balloons are simultaneously launched all over the world.
"The free-rising balloons circle their way up into the sky, capturing images of the earth and the clouds until the balloon bursts, or picture blackens as the balloon nears space.
"Already, Ms Brudermann has taken images with the help of meteorological organisations in France, New Zealand, Norway, Russia and the United States as well at the World Meteorological Organisation in Switzerland.
"This art will remind the international community of Australia's role in Antarctica and the vital place of the Southern Ocean in influencing global weather and predicting future weather and climate patterns prediction."
Ms Brudermann said that her intention during her voyage was also to highlight the Antarctic treaty-system's pursuit of international cooperation, peace and science.
"Images from a balloon circling remote parts of the world send a powerful and symbolic message as well as transmitting data for meteorological purposes," Ms Brudermann said.
"It's the only event that takes place every day where all nations work together - Iraq, the US, everyone."
Ms Brudermann will leave today aboard the Antarctic resupply vessel Aurora Australis on its marine science voyage to the Southern Ocean and to Australia's Casey station in Antarctica. Almost 70 people have travelled to Antarctica under the Arts Fellowship program since it began in 1984 including Andrew Denton (1993-4), Tim Bowden (1988-89) and Nikki Gemmell (1995-96).