Lisa Roet

Community Arts & Cultural Development

David Greybeard at the Arts Centre | Lisa Roet

“David Greybeard” in association with The Jane Goodall Institute and The Arts Centre Melbourne is a 12m x 9m x 12m public art project to be installed at Melbourne Arts Centre in Sept 2020, and to tour to Arts and conservation events globally 2021- 2022.

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Art and Conservation join forces to create a high impact project designed to act as a visual mascot for conservation and art events touring within Australia and globally.

Science, conservation, art and gender diversity are all addressed through this large scale public art project “David Greybeard” which acts as a celebration of the important work of female pioneer scientist Dr Jane Goodall while celebrating an important artwork by Lisa Roet created in Melbourne, to present to the world. The launch of his tour begins on top of Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne showcasing Melbourne as a leader in creativity and discussion about global issues such as climate change, extinction of species, biodiversity and sustainability. Recent bushfires and COVID-19 are central to the importance of these discussions.

Through her 30-year practice Roet has endeavoured to draw attention to our changing relationship with nature, and the image of the Ape and Monkey acts as a mirror for our humanity.

David Greybeard was a chimpanzee Goodall discussed in her research papers about emotion/communication and tool use in chimpanzees, causing the science community to redefine the definition of mankind.

The DGB project was designed to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of Goodall’s research, touring to key climate conferences globally, combining art and conservation as a vehicle for change. Extinction of species, global warming and sustainability, alongside climate crisis events and COVID-19 will be the key messaging addressed through the presentation of this artwork. Presented in conjunction with this artwork will be a series of forums, children’s workshops, an informative website and social media platform and extensive media campaign.

Due to COVID-19 the launch date of David Greybeard has been postponed from April to September where it will celebrate the opening up of the City of Melbourne.

Due to the realigning of dates, financial climate affecting arts institutions (and insolvency of some companies) the budget for David Greybeard has been compromised. I am looking for additional funding to make this project happen.

The additional funds will pay for the installation of the finished work on Hamer Hall in time for the the September school holidays. This includes freight, crane and truss hire. The funds will also support the creation of a children’s workshop and program to be held at key locations around Melbourne and Victoria.

Finally funds are being sought for the packaging of David Greybeard for his global tour including a sturdy freight touring box for David Greybeard to head off on his journey, and a small publication designed by Graphic Artist Jane Kleimeyer highlighting Melbourne’s place as a a trailblazer in arts and conservation, featuring photographs by John Gollings.


Lisa Roet




Community Arts & Cultural Development

Live Projects


For the past 25 Years Lisa Roet has been working with the image of the ape and monkey. Environmental issues, genetic discoveries and the evolving place of humanity within nature are themes addressed in her art practice.

Through an interdisciplinary approach to her practice Lisa has worked consistently with primatologists, geneticists, zoologists and taxonomists to research and gather the information needed to make the works. This has included research at zoos, laboratories and museum archives worldwide, as well as field research in Borneo to produce art using a wide range of mediums. These bodies of artwork have resulted in Lisa receiving many prestigious awards including the Australian National Sculpture award, The national Works on Paper Award with her work being exhibited extensively within Australia and Internationally.


Julie Lidgett


Eve McGlashan


Rosanne Cunningham


Camilla Graves


Lyn Williams


Graeme Cunningham


Andrew Rogers


Garry Helprin


Mary Schepisi


Arts Centre Melbourne



Artists Website