Migration + Mobility + Art
Migration + Mobility + Art is an interdisciplinary research area within CAST, which examines various forms of migration and their critical impacts, and the challenges surrounding the complexities of mobility, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region, in the context of creative practices.Led by Dr Kristen Sharp, Dr Tammy Hulbert and Dr Rhett D’Costa, this initiative brings together diverse researchers, including artists, curators, designers, writers and educators toshare and develop ideas, initiatives, collaboration projects, exhibitions and publication around interrelated issues of diversity, nationalism, citizenship, borders, transnationalism, multiculturalism, diasporas, globalisation and belonging.
As a research area, we want to examine how creative and cultural practices can reimagine the social, political, environmental and ethical issues of mobility and migration in a globalising society.
Research Theme Leaders
Dr Rhett D’Costa
Dr Rhett D’Costa teaches Painting in both RMIT University, Melbourne and as part of RMIT University’s undergraduate programme in Hong Kong. In a career spanning more than twenty-five years in art practice and tertiary art education, Rhett’s focus has centred around the Asia-Pacific region. Born in Bombay, Rhett D’Costa migrated to Australia at an early age. His practice led research draws on his hybrid background of British, Indian and Australian culture and its ongoing relationship to colonial and post colonial theory, extending across drawing, painting and installation processes. Rhett’s most recent multidisciplinary projects have centred on the ‘right to belong’, exploring the role of resilience and optimism in the intersecting areas of migration, multiculturalism, identity, nationalism and belonging. His research has focused on ideas connected to culturally composite ethnicities, mixed race communities and the porosity of place, belonging and identity formation. Belonging and ‘unbelonging’ have extended his interests in identity formation to include queer culture.These interests take into account shifting social and political circumstances and the tensions and consequences of mobility and migration in complex transnational environments. Rhett’s artistic research examines the agency and role an artist as researcher can have within these often precarious and unstable spaces.
Dr Tammy Hulbert
Dr Tammy Wong Hulbert is an artist, curator and academic. Her current research engages both her curatorial and artistic interests and focuses on investigating how socially engaged art practices can encourage an inclusive city. Originally she studied Bachelor of Applied Art, ceramics and Art Administration at UNSWAD, Sydney. She has exhibited her work and had curatorial experience in Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai and Beijing. In Sydney, she was the manager of Newcontemporaries, a non-commercial corporate funded gallery and the manager of exhibitions at Customs House, City of Sydney. Her curatorial interests focus on cross-cultural dialogue between Australian and Chinese contemporary artists through projects such as Gone with the Panda – Zhao Bandi (2004) Meridians: Shanghai (2010) and Lumens Festival: Curating the Ancient City, Suzhou and Melbourne (2012). Her industry experience led to her PhD research on The City as a Curated Space (2012) at RMIT University, focused on proposing an alternative model of exhibition practices, considering the ways urban spaces are curated in global cities. She has also taught contemporary art history in Melbourne and Hong Kong. Tammy is currently a lecturer in the Arts Management program, specialising in curating contemporary art.
Dr Kristen Sharp
Dr Kristen Sharp is a researcher, writer and curator. She is the Coordinator of ART: History + Theory + Cultures and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Art, RMIT University. Her research focuses on contemporary art and urban space, contemporary Asian art, and collaborative art practices in transnational projects. Her publications include Screen Ecologies: Art, Media and the Environment in the Asia-Pacific Region (with L. Hjorth, S. Pink and L. Williams, MIT Press, 2016), Re-imagining the City: Art, globalization and urban spaces (co-edited with E.Grierson, Intellect, 2013) and Sounds of Weather (with P. Samartzis and C. Charles, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, 2016). Kristen was a Chief Investigator on Spatial Dialogues: Public Art and Climate Change an ARC (Australian Research Council) Linkage.
Project based in Melbourne, Shanghai and Tokyo researching public art and social media collaborations responding to climate change.