John DahlsenEnvironmental Art
Art which responds to our environment andto our global community, conveying the soul of thingsthrough creativity.
Early Paintings
Early Works on Paper
Later Paintings
‘Occasionally an exhibition reminds us that the visualarts are first and foremost a struggle for liberty ofthought and dee...
Assemblage Wall Works
C L O S E R L O O K - Turning the TideRecycled items make artful social commentary.By John T. SpikePublished in the Intern...
This made Dahlsen wonder if he could somehow make his pickings seem almost beautiful.Unlikely as it sounds, the answer tur...
Totems
My work is in a constant state of evolution. I see thislargely as alchemical. It is the process of nature’selements redefi...
Most importantly for me, the assembled objects bringto life my commitment as an artist to expresscontemporary social, spir...
The central concerns of my work are with contemporary artpractice and working with found and recycled objects, mosthand-pi...
Driftwood Assemblage Works
My creative medium shifted from painting to working with foundobjects as a result of an artistic accident during the mid 1...
I bring these plastics back to my studio to sort, and colour-codefor my assemblages, sculptures and installations.As I wor...
Sculpture &Suspended Installations
Recycled Plastic BagWall Works
• I am with this work, apart from wishing to express obviousenvironmental messages, particularly interested in the brillia...
A 2005 report by the Australian Department of the Environment, Water,Heritage and the Arts noted the following:In 2005, Au...
The Australian Government is working with industry and the community to reduce theenvironmental impact of plastic bags. Ho...
The Irish Government imposed a 10 cent levy on the use of these bagssome years ago and saw the consumption of this product...
Installations
Digital Prints
Public Artworks &Commissions
One of the central positions of my work is tocreate things of beauty.Over the years I have chosen a challengingmedium - di...
I get on this razors edge line between fulfilmentand frustration, knowing that I am able to onlyever provide through my cr...
The Recent Paintings: Sea and LandscapesThese paintings were made in 2007 and 2008 as a continued response to my localenvi...
“This play between abstraction and figuration, between synthetic/organic matterand immateriality in the purge paintings, h...
2009 Driftwood Sculptures
John DahlsenJohn is based in Byron Bay Australia. His artistic training began at the VictorianCollege of the Arts and then...
John’s art has been written about in major Australian and Internationalnewspapers. His work has been featured in many maga...
John was awarded in 2009, the Swell Sculpture Exhibition "Environmental ArtAward", Currumbin, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. ...
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013
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John Dahlsen PowerPoint presentation, used in his public speaking engagements where he discusses his work. "Art which responds to our environment and to our global community, conveying the soul of things through creativity.

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John dahlsen powerpoint presentation_2013

  1. 1. John DahlsenEnvironmental Art
  2. 2. Art which responds to our environment andto our global community, conveying the soul of thingsthrough creativity.
  3. 3. Early Paintings
  4. 4. Early Works on Paper
  5. 5. Later Paintings
  6. 6. ‘Occasionally an exhibition reminds us that the visualarts are first and foremost a struggle for liberty ofthought and deed, they are not and never can be anindustry. Good art can never be reduced to a minorform of luxury goods.Artists can achieve completely unexpected insightsinto their work and into human experience as a whole.These revelations that life can be made anew is theessential goal of all art. They inevitably go far beyondthe need to make a saleable product.’David Bromfield, Review: of John Dahlsen’s paintings and drawings exhibition.
  7. 7. Assemblage Wall Works
  8. 8. C L O S E R L O O K - Turning the TideRecycled items make artful social commentary.By John T. SpikePublished in the International Art Magazine Art & Antiques Summer Edition 2004.Artists can be compared to bees, American philosopher Buckminster Fuller has pointed out. Abee gathers nectar to make honey; yet what it’s really doing, one might say, is pollinatingflowers. So artists often find that their actions have unexpected consequences.John Dahlsen is a contemporary Australian artist whose wide-ranging interests lead him in manydirections—from abstract painting to digital photography to sculptures in public squares. In hisleisure time, Dahlsen enjoys strolling along the splendid sandy beaches near his home in ByronBay. Unfortunately, even the virgin coasts of Australia are besmirched by picnic litter and sodacans washed up by the tide and on occasion, Dahlsen will pick these items up, as many of uswould.One day about a decade ago it struck him just how much brightly colored junk was lying about inplain sight. The shore and dunes were sparkling with pieces of red, blue, black, white and clearplastic. In a gesture that initially seemed futile, Dahlsen started filling sacks with refuse andbringing them home to sort. Most of the bottle tops, children’s combs, bubble pipes, hair clipsand innumerable other broken and sundry bits of plastic turned out to be dyed in the same fewcolors. Soon his rubbish bins were over- flowing with colorful assemblages of objects that wereindistinguishable except for their shapes. Unified in this way, the beach debris seemed less ugly.
  9. 9. This made Dahlsen wonder if he could somehow make his pickings seem almost beautiful.Unlikely as it sounds, the answer turned out to be yes. Even back then, the idea ofcomposing with “found objects” was neither radical nor new. Forerunners like Kurt Schwittersin the 1920s and Robert Rauschenberg in the ’60s used ticket stubs and auto parts for muchthe same reason that the Old Masters painted gold watches and sputtering candles: as signsof the ephemerality of life and our worldly possessions.Dahlsen, by comparison, is an optimist. To begin with, he’s already made a positivestatement by clearing off the unsightly stuff that is lethal to fish and fowl. (Australia’s wildlifeconservancies adore Dahlsen’s work, which was hardly his intention, but so be it.) Hewanted to impart a kind of Minimalist stability to his jumbles of deep true colors. One earlyassemblage of coffee lids, cooler fragments and bottle tops shared the ethereal white-on-white aura of a Robert Ryman abstraction or a William Bailey still life—only much moreenergetically. Piling up black combs, disposable razors and pieces of rope yielded a LouiseNevelson-like sculpture with attitude.Beachcombers are always on the move, of course, and “Blue Rope (Triptych),” a new work,shows that Dahlsen has started to take the risk of mixing his colors. One would neversuspect there could be anything “romantic” about a stratified miscellany of nylon ropes,plastic garbage bags and fish nets, but it is hard to avoid the impression that its undulationsevoke a deep blue ocean and the tangled ropes are a little like storm tossed clouds. But itwould be absurd to read anything into such a mishmash. Or would it? Besides, unlikeRauschenberg in pursuit of a decisive detail, Dahlsen likes to group his finds in categoriesand ask himself what it means that our age works in plastic, as opposed to stone, bronze oriron. Dahlsen, in other words, has become an artful archaeologist. •John T. Spike is the director of the Florence International Biennial of Contemporary Art.
  10. 10. Totems
  11. 11. My work is in a constant state of evolution. I see thislargely as alchemical. It is the process of nature’selements redefining the man-made that creates theinitial alchemy, taking the objects beyond themundane.The second step is achieved through the transportationof these plastics to my studio and the process ofsorting and assembling.A further and more vital transformation takes place as Iassemble them. These found objects then start to telltheir story and become transformed into artworks.
  12. 12. Most importantly for me, the assembled objects bringto life my commitment as an artist to expresscontemporary social, spiritual and environmentalconcerns.Comments are regularly made to me about people’sconsciousness, while walking the beach, beingawakened after seeing my found plastic objectartworks.
  13. 13. The central concerns of my work are with contemporary artpractice and working with found and recycled objects, mosthand-picked by myself from somewhere along the AustralianCoastline.The unabated dumping of thousands of tonnes of plastics isexpressed in my assemblages, installations, totems and prints.And yet, despite my outrage at this environmental vandalism,I return to the beach daily to find more pieces for my artist’spalette.In an uncanny way, these plastics, as I sort them and arrangethem in my studio take on an indefinable beauty, whichfascinates me.
  14. 14. Driftwood Assemblage Works
  15. 15. My creative medium shifted from painting to working with foundobjects as a result of an artistic accident during the mid 1990’s.I was collecting driftwood, on a remote Southern AustralianCoastline and stumbled upon vast amounts of plastic ocean debris.This whole new palette of colour and shape revealing itselfimmediately affected me. I had never seen such hues and formsbefore.Since then, I have scoured Australian beaches for found objects,much of which I have found as washed up ‘ocean litter’ and havesince discovered this litter is a worldwide phenomenon, affectingbeaches on a global level.
  16. 16. I bring these plastics back to my studio to sort, and colour-codefor my assemblages, sculptures and installations.As I work with these objects, I become even more fascinated bythe way they have been modified and weathered by the oceanand the elements.I take these found objects, which might on first meeting have noapparent dialogue, and work with them until they tell their story,which includes underlying environmental messages.
  17. 17. Sculpture &Suspended Installations
  18. 18. Recycled Plastic BagWall Works
  19. 19. • I am with this work, apart from wishing to express obviousenvironmental messages, particularly interested in the brillianceof the colours and textures available to me in working with thismedium. I am constantly surprised to see the variations in theseplastics, very much like how I am intrigued by the beach foundobjects I have collected over the years.• I imagine these plastic bags, which mostly have a lifespan ofmany years, are in fact on the verge of extinction, as it is only amatter of time before governments impose such strict deterrentsto people using them that they become a thing of the past. Afitting end to what has become such a scourge to ourenvironment on a worldwide scale.
  20. 20. A 2005 report by the Australian Department of the Environment, Water,Heritage and the Arts noted the following:In 2005, Australians used 3.92 billion lightweight single use high densitypolyethylene (HDPE) bags. 2.14 billion of these came from supermarkets,while the others were used by fast food restaurants, service stations,convenience stores and liquor stores and other shops.Plastic bags are popular with consumers and retailers as they are afunctional, lightweight, strong, cheap, and hygienic way to transport foodand other products.Most of these go to landfill (rubbish tips) after they are used, and some arerecycled. In 2002 around 50 to 80 million bags ended up as litter in ourenvironment. While the number littered has probably been reduced sincethen, it is likely that a large number still enter the environment. Oncelittered, plastic bags can find their way on to our streets, parks, and into ourwaterways.Although plastic bags make up only a small percentage of all litter, theimpact of these bags is nevertheless significant. Plastic bags create visualpollution problems and can have harmful effects on aquatic and terrestrialanimals. Plastic bags are particularly noticeable components of the litterstream due to their size and can take a long time to fully break down.
  21. 21. The Australian Government is working with industry and the community to reduce theenvironmental impact of plastic bags. However, everyone shares some responsibilityfor this problem - from plastic bag manufacturers and importers who sell the bags,shop keepers who give them away, and the customers who use them. It is up to all ofus to help find the solution.In recent years, many people have started to use reusable bags, such as the greenbags you can buy at most supermarkets. Because of these efforts, the number ofHDPE bags used in Australia has fallen from around 6 billion in 2002 to 3.92 billion in2005. However, there is a lot more that can be done.Plastic bag facts* Australians used 3.92 billion plastic shopping bags per year.* Nearly half a million plastic bags are collected on Clean Up Australia Day each year.(source - CUA)* It takes only four grocery shopping trips for an average Australian family toaccumulate 60 plastic shopping bags. (source - CUA)* Plastic bags are produced from polymers derived from petroleum. The amount ofpetroleum used to make a plastic bag would drive a car about 11 metres. (source -CUA)* In 2005, Australians used 192 HDPE bags per capita. (source - Nolan ITU)* 14% of HDPE plastic carry bags are returned to major supermarkets for recycling.(source - ANRA)
  22. 22. The Irish Government imposed a 10 cent levy on the use of these bagssome years ago and saw the consumption of this product decrease byapproximately 90% within a year, a reduction of many billions of plasticbags per year!Once again, I am able as a contemporary visual artist, to use theserecycled materials, to create artworks which I hope, express a certainbeauty as well as containing their own unique environmental messages.This is my way of making a difference, and at the same time I’m sharing apositive message about beauty that can be gained from the aestheticexperience of appreciating art, as well as giving examples of how we canrecycle and reuse in creative ways. These artworks exemplify mycommitment as an artist to express contemporary social andenvironmental concerns.
  23. 23. Installations
  24. 24. Digital Prints
  25. 25. Public Artworks &Commissions
  26. 26. One of the central positions of my work is tocreate things of beauty.Over the years I have chosen a challengingmedium - discarded junk or recycled items -that have mostly been at some time in theprocess of being transformed by nature.My role has been to transform it further, intoa work of art that makes a strong statementwhile offering a positive aestheticexperience.
  27. 27. I get on this razors edge line between fulfilmentand frustration, knowing that I am able to onlyever provide through my creativity a glimpse ofthe vastness that is life - a fragment of what isessentially the ineffable.John Dahlsen
  28. 28. The Recent Paintings: Sea and LandscapesThese paintings were made in 2007 and 2008 as a continued response to my localenvironment.I remember saying in interviews with the media during the late 90’s, that I hopedthat one day I would see less and less litter washing up on our beaches, so thatquite naturally my work would find a new direction. This has now happened – on alocal level at least. The situation on a global level has worsened considerably.After more than 10 years of collecting beach found objects and subsequentlymaking art out of them, I’ve naturally come now to a new form of expression, whichwas brought on significantly as a result of the decrease in litter either washing upor being left behind on our beaches, as well as a result of my purge painting seriesand exploration.Painting the Byron Bay local seascapes and landscapes, mostly images seen byme on my daily walk around the lighthouse and beaches, are painted somewhatwith a sense of urgency, due to my ever growing concerns about global warmingand its impact.The viewer can see these works have a certain unmistakable mood within eachpiece, which has been written about by Dr Jacqueline Millner from the University ofWestern Sydney, seen in the next slide:
  29. 29. “This play between abstraction and figuration, between synthetic/organic matterand immateriality in the purge paintings, has been applied in Dahlsen’s mostrecent works to landscapes — dark works whose subtle references toenvironmental degradation all but disappear before forcefully catching youunawares.This tension between inorganic abstraction and emotionally charged organismlends these works particular resonance, given their inception in the politics ofenvironmental art.They play out, in elegant and economical aesthetics, the unstable boundariesbetween the natural and the artificial, reminding us of Wendell Berry’s paradoxthat ‘the only thing we have to preserve nature with is culture; the only thing wehave to preserve wildness with is domesticity”Steven Alderton in his Artspeak column in Australian newspaper, “The NorthernStar”, went on to say about the new work: John has been working on a verysuccessful new body of work that extends from his previous enviro sculpturesinto paintings. They are of the places he has collected detritus for hissculptures. The subject matter also happens to be Byron Bay, a place of infinitebeauty and great affection.
  30. 30. 2009 Driftwood Sculptures
  31. 31. John DahlsenJohn is based in Byron Bay Australia. His artistic training began at the VictorianCollege of the Arts and then later at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education.He won Australia’s oldest art award, the prestigious Wynne prize, at the AGNSW in2000 and was again a finalist in 2003 and 2004. In 2006 he was a finalist in theSulman Award at the Art Gallery of NSW. He has won other significant acquisitiveand non-acquisitive art awards, including a mixed media/new media award at the2003 Florence Biennial.As well as lecturing at various universities and schools from 1980 – 2008, He hasbeen an invited speaker at architectural and environmental symposiums in Australiaand Internationally, including at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, whichcoincided with an exhibition of his work there in 1999.For 28 years he has had regular solo and group exhibitions in Australia, in bothcommercial and regional galleries and Internationally, in USA and Europe, where heis also represented in major public and private collections. Galleries represent him inAustralia, as well as in New York, Milan, Belgium and Amsterdam.In August 2004, Dahlsen represented Australia at the Athens Olympics of VisualArts and in October 2004, he became the first Australian artist, (he joins suchrenowned artists as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Francesco Clemente and DamienHirst), to be commissioned by global vodka producer Absolut to create a majorpublic artwork “Absolut Dahlsen” which was unveiled at Sculpture by the Sea in
  32. 32. John’s art has been written about in major Australian and Internationalnewspapers. His work has been featured in many magazines and in InternationalArt publications. Television includes coverage on all Australian channels and manyinternational programmes. He currently has a major presentation and interview onABC online.He had a major solo exhibition of his work at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery inFebruary 2005 and his sculpture “Pink Shard” made from fused toughened glasspanels with a plastic interlayer bearing image won him another award, at the 2005Thursday Plantation East Coast Sculpture Show.Later in 2005, he curated as well as participated in an exhibition at the SamuelDorsky Museum, in New York State in the USA; he also took up an artist inresidence position in Jefferson City Missouri, USA in September 2005, where hemade a public artwork for their sculpture walk.During June 2006, he had a solo exhibition at parliament house in Sydney.In December 2006, John was awarded the runner up prize in Australia’s newest,and now the richest art award, The Signature of Sydney Art Prize. In lateNovember 2007 John’s work was exhibited in New York State in an exhibition titled“Ecological Integrity / On The Brink”In March 2008 John was an invited guest of the North Stonington EducationFoundation, to work with students and to deliver a lecture at Mystic Aquarium andInstitute for Exploration Mystic Connecticut USA.John is represented by major public and private collections across Australia, he isalso in many International collections in Europe, USA and Japan.
  33. 33. John was awarded in 2009, the Swell Sculpture Exhibition "Environmental ArtAward", Currumbin, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. He went on to win this prize again inSeptember 2010.In July 2010, he won the Peoples Choice Award in the ArtsCapeBiennial Sculpture Exhibition. Byron Bay, NSW Australia for his 6m x 4m x 3msculpture: “Monumental Environmental Artwork” which he made from a recycledCamphor Laurel tree root ball and trunk. In September 2010 Johns work featured atthe famed "Hanmo Gallery" in Beijings 798 contemporary art district in China.March 2011 saw John being commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank to create amajor sculpture for their new HQ, from objects collected from the annual Clean upAustralia campaign in Sydney.John was appointed " Cultural Ambassador" for Friends of the United Nations, on Hewas invited in 2012 by the United Nations to write an essay for the Rio+20conference. Dahlsen’s essay, titled “The Future we want” appears on the UN websitefor the Rio+20 conference. And can be seen here:http://www.un.org/en/sustainablefuture/dahlsen.shtml In 2013 John was offereda Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD Candidature) at the Charles Darwin University N.T.Australia.

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