Art-meets-science project claims gold in Anthem Awards

The Perpetual Pigments project, which culminated into an exhibition featuring artworks by First Nation artists, has won gold at the Anthem Awards.

A Deakin collaboration that brings together science and art has won gold at the third Annual Anthem Awards. 

Perpetual Pigments: Sustainable Colour, Continuous Culture project took out the top award in the Sustainability, Environment, & Climate Innovation category. The project was inspired by the theme, ‘sustainable colour continuous culture’, and invited First Nation artists to test the performance of pigments made from textile waste developed by researchers from the Institute for Frontier Materials. The project culminated in an exhibition called Perpetual Pigments that ran as part of Geelong Design Week 2023. 

This year’s Anthem Award Winners were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 submissions from 44 countries by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Anthem judges are intellectually diverse leaders from across the impact industry with expertise that spans across the Anthem cause areas. 

Co-curator and Deakin Senior Lecturer (Screen and Design) Dr Russell Kennedy said the Perpetual Pigments project was a circular economy inspired, design-thinking led project involving art, science and design practice. 

“The aim was to practically explore the application the recycled pigments discovered by Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials,” he said. 

“It clearly demonstrates how interdisciplinary knowledge sharing and cultural exchange can come together to produce better than expected outcomes. It is important to note that the Perpetual Pigments applied the International Indigenous Design Charter (2023 Silver Anthem Award recipient) to the project.  

“These best practice protocols, which were developed by Deakin University, are officially recognised by the International Council of Design (ICoD).  

“The Gold award for Innovation will certainly elevate awareness a further advance the conversation about the effective application of colour pigments extracted from textile waste.” 

Co-curator and Senior Lecturer (Screen and Design) Dr Tonya Meyrick said the research and exhibition could not have taken place without the talented contributions from the eminent and emerging First Nation artists. 

“The primary purpose of Perpetual Pigments project was to test and document the performance of the IFM developed pigments with practicing artists,” Dr Meyrick said. 

“Due to the circular economy empirical objective of the research we thought it appropriate to invite First Nation artist to participate by creating artworks in response to the mantra of Sustainable Colour and Continuous Culture.” 

IFM’s project lead Associate Professor Rangam Rajkhowa thanked the Anthem Awards for acknowledging their recycled pigments research discovery.  

“The Perpetual Pigments project took the research to another level,” Assoc Prof Rajkhowa said.  

“It was a great example for how relational, cross disciplinary research can work. The research project involved multiple Deakin University stakeholders including IFM, the School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA), School of Architecture and Built environment (SABE) and current staff and Alumnus of the National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation (NIKERI) Institute.” 

About The Anthem Awards: 

Launched in 2021 by The Webby Awards, The Anthem Awards honours the purpose and mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards is defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their own communities. The Anthem Awards honours work across seven core causes: Diversity; Equity & Inclusion; Education; Art & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights; Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology; and Sustainability, Environment & Climate. Founded in partnership with the Ad Council, Born This Way Foundation, Feeding America, Glaad, Mozilla, NAACP, NRDC, WWF, and XQ.