Julie Gough and Lucienne Rickard: Witnessing extinction

Lucienne Rickard’s Extinction Studies (2019–2023) was a long durational, live drawing project commissioned by Detached Cultural Organisation and staged in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Link Foyer spanning four years and three months. Delivered in two iterations, the project focused on extinction as a key concern of the global ecological crisis and a phenomenon much talked about, but rarely witnessed at close range. Informed by links between the destructive impact of human activity within the Anthropocene and the ‘sixth’ mass extinction event, Rickard’s daily presence in the Museum framed extinction as a phenomenon to which we might bear witness in the here-and-now. Employing the double-edged strategy of drawing an extinct or endangered animal on a large sheet of paper and then erasing the image, Rickard’s project alluded to evolutionary cycles as viewers could witness, sometimes over months, the emergence of an anatomically accurate creature, only to watch it disappear in minutes under her eraser. 


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