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Ever wondered what the oceans think about climate change?


Ever wondered what the oceans think about climate change?

What Lies Beneath exhibition, Vivid Sydney 2023 featuring Haemish Wellard.

TAFE NSW student Haemish Wellard is giving the oceans a voice through his sound design and composition skills in, What Lies Beneath, an emotive public art installation located in Barangaroo as part of the Southern Hemisphere's largest festival of light, music and ideas – Vivid Sydney.

A former removalist, Mr. Wellard always had a passion for music, so he chose to study the Bachelor of Creative Practice at TAFE NSW and now instead of moving furniture, he is moving people through his music. His study landed him the opportunity to work on What Lies Beneath with Sydney-based artist, art director, and stage designer Susan Kosti.

“For What Lies Beneath I used the technical skills I’ve gained from my study at TAFE NSW to translate data from ocean currents into audio, creating a sonification that is effectively giving the oceans a voice,” Mr. Wellard said.

“I've worked hard to design and create audio for the installation to the urgency of the ocean’s need for our help to survive the pressures of climate change.

"I'm humbled that Susan Kosti offered me the opportunity to work on this project with her. What I am most excited about is seeing people enjoy the installation, seeing the city come alive at night with colours and art.”

What Lies Beneath, is located at Barangaroo, with glowing, ethereal coral reefs and all their colourful creatures mapped onto the curved rocks of Nawi Cove.

Mr. Wellard explained that as an independent artist he felt fully supported by his TAFE NSW teachers who boosted his confidence by equipping him with strong sound design, editing, and mixing skills.

“The confidence and skills I developed at TAFE Ultimo meant I felt capable to take on the challenge of the project What Lies Beneath with such a high profile and acclaimed artist like Susan.”

TAFE NSW Bachelor of Creative Practice in Music Course Coordinator Thomas Marland explained that Haemish has composed an incredibly immersive score for the What Lies Beneath exhibition. This collaboration provides a fantastic opportunity for him to utilise the tools and skills he’s been learning, including the latest music production techniques and honing in on his ever-growing composition and arranging skills.

“This is his third year in a row scoring music for Vivid visual artists and installations, and we’re very proud of the work he has done each year,” Mr Marland said.

“Composing and synchronising music for visual mediums, such as installations or film, have proven to be one of the best ways to get a head start in the industry. It’s fantastic to see Haemish already thriving in the industry before he’s even completed his degree!”

Media contact: Katrina Trinh, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,