Lisa Roet

Lisa Roet — Yerkish 'Rain' Symbol T-Shirt


For over two decades Lisa Roet has won acclaim in Australia and internationally for her powerful investigations into the complex interface between humans and our simian relatives.

Drawing inspiration from a myriad of sources including residencies at major international zoos, field studies of apes living in the forests of Borneo and most recently through her own heart surgery, Lisa’s multidisciplinary approach to her work has challenged, and continues to challenge, fundamental scientific and behavioural theories relating to human evolution and creationism, language and communication, science and art and the relationship between humans and ‘other’ primates. Notwithstanding the potentially political nature of her subject, Roet never indulges in heavy-handed dacticism. To the contrary, her art practice is infused with refreshing vigour, candour and an inescapable sense of mystery, poignantly highlighting how inextricably linked humans and primates are amid the messy uncertainty of biology, nature and culture.

With the ape as her muse, Roet encourages us to reflect upon prevailing attitudes towards these relatives with whom we share in excess of 98% of our DNA, the lingering anxiety with our evolutionary past, our use of apes for scientific and entertainment purposes and the way in which we project onto apes our own fantasies and culture, while at the same time assuming they are somehow ‘inferior’ to us.

Not surprisingly, Lisa’s explorations into the psychology, behaviour and the soul of simian-human relations have attracted an impressive number of art awards, including the prestigious: Geelong Gallery Acquisitive Print Award, Australia (2013), Deakin University Small Sculpture Award, Australia (2012), Fremantle Print Award, Australia (2011), McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park Sculpture Survey & Award, Australia (2005), Australian National Gallery National Sculpture Prize, Australia (2003).

Yerkish is an artificial language developed for use in communicating with non-human primates. It utilizes a keyboard whose keys contain lexigrams, symbols which correspond to objects or ideas.

A lexigram represents a word but is not necessarily indicative of the object to which it refers. Lexigrams were notably used by the Georgia State University Language Research Center to communicate with bonobos and chimpanzees. 

Materials: Cotton / Lycra Blend

Printed in Australia 

2 pieces in stock

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