Chromatrope slides
Image: Chromatrope slides. Powerhouse Collection.

Dr Nigel Helyer

The Powerhouse Research Fellowship

Commencing July 2021

Project Title: Freeze Frame

Dr Nigel Helyer
Image: Dr Nigel Helyer, supplied.

Dr Nigel Helyer’s research project will look at the physical and technical aspects of the Powerhouse collection relating to early and contemporary cinema, with a focus on combining the social and cultural contexts of the collection. Helyer is currently engaged in developing a related long-form fiction text entitled Freeze Frame, which is centred upon cinema of the early 20th century and its relationship to the afterlife. The completed (and published) text is intended to act as the impetus for creating a significant creative research outcome. The Powerhouse collection will inform not only the writing, but also assist in the development of a new installation outcome.

Helyer (aka Dr Sonique) has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Culture and Media at Macquarie University since 2014. He is a contemporary polymath whose work links art and science in a strong embrace of the environment, identity and cultural history. He has an international reputation as a sculptor and sound artist who creates large-scale public artworks, sound-sculptures, environmental projects, and interactive installations that prompt the community to engage with their cultural histories, identity and sense of place; inviting us to examine the abstract conditions of our world and our complex relationships with it.

Helyer has held recent fellowships at the School of Sound, London, in 2019, was artist in residence for the Soniferous Cities project, Örö Island, Finland, in 2019, and was awarded the Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts in 2018.

More information about Helyer’s art practice and research can be found through his website and research profile.