On the Couch with Dr Vera Möller

Vera Moller at Flinders, Victoria 2019 - photo by Mark AshkanasyWho is Dr Vera Möller?
I am an artist living and working in Melbourne and on the Mornington Peninsula. Originally I studied Biology and Microbiology in Germany, but soon after my arrival in Australia I chose to focus on these fields of knowledge as subjects for creative inquiry.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
My practice allows and requires me to go on field trips locally and nationally frequently, but I would like to extend the range of exploration to travel to many more remote locations around Australia.

Who inspires you and why?
I find it difficult to make a choice. There are many outstanding individuals who are working towards good outcomes in their chosen fields, with the aim to achieve improve improvements or gain more knowledge. For example, the work of a plethora of scientists here in Australia is inspiring, as they bring to our attention the effects human activities have had in the age of the anthropocene.

I greatly admire those individuals that are committed to finding ethical and sustainable solutions for the problems that have arisen. In terms of visual art I have been greatly inspired by extraordinary historical Weimar Republic collage artist Hannah Höch, and still marvel at her ability to creatively respond to the political and cultural environment at the time, and to do so with great emotional depth and exhilarating inventiveness.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Actively promote participation in various terrific citizen science programs, projects that have been developed firstly, to assist scientists with the task of gathering a large amount of data. Secondly to give all of us some agency in exploring and develop empathy for our environment.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
When I first visited Wilsons Promontory a few decades ago I absolutely fell in love with the sheer beauty of this exhilarating environment. That feeling has not diminished!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Apart from trying to drive them to Wilsons Promontory if time allows, I like to take my visitors on a ferry ride on the yarra – from Southbank towards Williamstown.

What are you currently reading?
Gerald Murnane’s recent books, Stream System, A Season on Earth and Green Shadows and other Poems.

What are you currently listening to?
Enjoying a period of re-immersion, of listening exclusively to recordings by composer and arranger Gil Evans. Absolutely exquisite, ‘avantgarde’ music from the 60s. This body of work never fails to raise my adrenaline levels.

Happiness is?
Hanging out amongst the rock pools of the Western Port coast with my Kelpie Lolly, ideally with provisions of homemade banana cake and coffee in a small back pack. I love a picnic. My late husband, artist Philip Hunter was of the opinion that that must be a European thing.

What does the future hold for you?
Have just started working on a new installation about marine invertebrates and a new cycle of paintings, and am in the middle of designing a major public art commission.

Vera’s latest exhibition A Thousand Tides is currently on display at the Bunjil Place Gallery until Sunday 9 June as part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019. For more information, visit: www.bunjilplace.com.au for details.

Image: Dr Vera Möller – photo by Mark Ashkanasy