coral: rekindling venus

Australia | 2013 | Lynette Wallworth | 45 minutes

Presented in partnership with the Melbourne Planetarium


Under the full dome of the Planetarium, take an extraordinary journey into the mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life. There you will find a complex community under threat and an understanding of how our fate, and the fate of the coral community are intimately connected.
Featuring jaw-dropping cinematography from Emmy Award-winner David Hannan and a hypnotic, ethereal soundtrack featuring works by Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), Coral: Rekindling Venus is an immersive, kaleidoscopic journey through the glowing underwater forests of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

“There are still moments of transfiguration that come wholly unlooked for, as puncturing instants of experience...Such moments are to be found in Lynette Wallworth’s immersive installations, instants of shift that slip in under the guise of wonder, of grief, in intimate connection with another.”
– Jemima Kemp, Art Monthly Australia

Lynette Wallworth is an Australian artist whose immersive video installations reflect on the connections between people and the natural world. Her work uses photography, film and interactive technologies, like touch-based interfaces, to engage viewers and allow them to experience her works intuitively.


Dr Anya Salih has been researching how reef corals cope with stresses associated with climate change for two decades. She received her PhD at the University of Sydney and is currently a senior research scientist at the Western Sydney University (WSU). She leads the Confocal Bio-Imaging Facility, where she uses laser confocal microscopes to investigate cellular processes in reef corals and develops novel biotechnological applications of coral fluorescence in bio-imaging, biomedicine and solar energy. She believes that to understand why corals have evolved fluorescence it is important to work across many disciplines and has teamed with biophysicists, molecular biologists, biochemists and engineers to solve the mystery of why corals fluoresce.

The decade-long collaboration between Anya Salih and Lynette Wallworth emerged from their fascination with the incredibly dynamic and complex beauty of corals and out of their deep concern for the impact of climate change on reefs.  Anya assisted with Wallworth’s full-dome film CORAL Rekindling Venus as Chief Scientific Advisor and has contributed imagery to a series of Wallworth's marine focused installations, including filming some of the fluorescent imagery for CORAL at WSU’s Confocal facility.