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Deceptive Practice – Giselle Penn & Marilia Bergamo

Event Description


Deceptive Practices is a-life-trapping flower. It is a robotic human-size interactive installation intended to reflect on the reproductive cost of life. In nature, trapping flowers use deceptive behaviour to attract pollinators to spread their pollen. In Deceptive Practices, we recreated this behaviour, and the artwork can be seen as a flower that plays with people's presence to use them for their reproductive intentions. To interact with the piece, a person will walk in and out in the direction of the flower while it plays with its structure in a movement of opening and closing. If a person gets close enough, the entire body will close for a few seconds and soon open. Unlike nature, where the pollinator can be trapped for hours, people can still leave enclosed form due to the open nature of the fabrics. We imagine that it will create a specific feeling in public to be trapped inside of it. Being trapped means helping the flower reproduce, but it also costs the person this sensation of being inside it. 

Blackstone Gallery.

470 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300

Exhibition open

1st - 5th November 

Opening Night

Friday, 3rd November

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 

Time and Date

Giselle Penn has been making and exhibiting her work since the early 1990’s. Her practice began with the hand skills passed onto her by a family of makers and menders. Her strongest passion grew in the area of Textile Processes which led her to do a bachelor's degree in education / art majoring in Fibre/Textiles followed by a Post Graduate Diploma 1991 at the University of Newcastle. This overriding compulsive passion for creating led to a production-based practice, simultaneous to the challenge of an art practice and fulltime work as a Technical Officer at the University of Newcastle in what is now the Creative Industries. Giselle has exhibited locally and interstate, at artist run galleries, Regional Galleries and invited to exhibit overseas at ‘Fibreart International’ North America.

Marilia Bergamo has been a computer artist and lecturer of Design and Digital Art for the last sixteen years. She graduated in Design and Computer Science and worked with interface design during the beginning of her career. Her work as an educator also began in Interface Design and traditional printed graphics. As an artist, she sought to produce and research art related to interaction, digital images and the concept of evolution and interaction with digital systems. Now her research and production emphasize Art, Poetics and Computer Technology, Complex Systems, and Design for interactive media. She is working mainly on the following topics: art and digital systems, computer art, artificial life, interaction design, and the creation of multimodal interfaces.

Artist Bio

Chromatic Festival and The University of Newcastle acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal Nation, Darkinjung Nation, Biripai Nation, Worimi Nation, Wonnarua Nation and Eora Nation. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.


Chromatic Festival and The University of Newcastle recognise that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded. This continent always was and always will be Aboriginal Land. 


We respect their cultural heritage, beliefs, and continuing relationship with the land, and recognise that they are the proud survivors of more than two hundred years of dispossession.

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