The Great Piece of Australia" is a series of animated still lifes by Luke Conroy. It is a study of Australian plants, animals and objects combining "real" images and images created with artificial intelligence.
The title of this series of works refers to Albrecht Durer’s "The Great Piece of Turf / Das große Rasenstück" (1503), a meticulous observation of nature in almost scientific detail. Completed more than five centuries later, the series "The Great Piece of Australia" is a vision of nature in the 21st century. In this work, human observation is combined with artificial intelligence and the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred.
Artificial intelligence is used here through a process of text-to-image conversion, whereby a computer has been tasked with generating a variety of surrealist images based on a series of artist texts. These texts focused on the theme of Australia, for example by listing various names of indigenous animals, plants or emblematic places. The resulting surrealist images can be considered as what the computer "imagined" when reading each text.
In the final work, the artist incorporated this combination of real and computer-generated images. Still life mixes reality and imagination, creating a "piece of Australia" that is both strangely familiar and completely surreal.