Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski: Epicormic

Nature in the Dark 1

View Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski 's Biography

Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski are artists and academics based in Sydney.


Australian animals damaged by fire are then regenerated through a process of epicormic growth. This animation was created using stills captured via night-time surveillance cameras in the forests of Victoria. Commissioned by Nature In The Dark, a project organised by the Centre for Creative Arts, La Trobe University and Victorian National Parks Association.

Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski are two Australian artists whose long term collaboration has produced media art installations situated at the juncture of cinema, information visualisation, mapping and sublime landscape. Seeker, a four-screen installation won an Award of Distinction in Interactive Art from the 2007 Prix Ars Electronica, Austria. Their ongoing project Incompatible Elements, focusing on landscapes in crisis due to climate change has been shown several times in Australia and overseas including USA, Taiwan, Korea, NZ, and most recently at the Maldives Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2013.

Starrs and Cmielewski have been involved in many local and international artist residency programs including Banff, Canada 1998, Sarai, New Delhi, India 2006, the Future Lab, Linz, Austria 2009, Blast Theory, UK 2009 and SCANZ, New Zealand in 2011. In 2012 they spent time at Bundanon Trust in NSW, to create new work for Siteworks an event that focused on local and global food security, biodiversity and land care.

During their most recent artist residency at Bundanon in 2014, they worked with dancer Alison Plevey of Lingua Franca to explore human interaction to drones, mounting a camera on a quad-copter to record site responsive performances in the natural environment. This work is one aspect of a larger project, Augmented Terrain, supported by a Creative Australia grant to develop an immersive video installation that re-imagines the relationship between nature and culture.

Starrs is currently honorary Senior Lecturer in Film and Digital Art, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and Cmielewski is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.