LITMUS is a hub for research in photography and fine art, housed within Whiti o Rehua School of Art, consisting of a number of internationally focused research initiatives, The Engine Room Gallery, and affiliated projects.
LITMUS allows opportunities for researchers in the school across a wide-strata of activities from exhibition to symposia and publication. Fundamental to this is international engagement with a dynamic programme of collaborations facilitated through group research endeavours.
The Engine Room Gallery is a major research facility for the exhibition of leading-edge fine art research that connects developments in staff research with the work of international peers.
LITMUS currently has two key research groupings: Place focused on photographic practice with specific connection to locale and landscape; and Litmus Research Initiative an internationally recognised research initiative devoted to the study and practice of temporary public art practice. Both clusters work with researchers locally and internationally to develop new practice and scholarship in their respective fields. Place developed the book and exhibition project Sightseeing which toured New Zealand and was exhibited at Peninsula Arts (University of Plymouth, UK).
LITMUS, with research fellow Claire Doherty and Associate Professor David Cross, developed the One Day Sculpture project which consisted of the commissioning of twenty temporary public artworks across New Zealand together with an international symposium and book. In 2011 Cross developed Iteration:Again 13 Public Art Projects Across Tasmania. The book of the series co-published by Punctum Books, New York and CAST was released in May 2013.
LITMUS has had an extensive history of residencies, symposia and commissioned temporary art projects with artists including Thomas Bayrle (Germany), Dane Mitchell (New Zealand), Roman Ondak (Slovakia), and Paul O'Neill (Ireland/US).