The ‘Sartorial Naturalist’: thank you!

In 2021 Tasmanian botanical artist, Deborah Wace, led a multiform art collaboration of nationally and internationally recognised design, cinematic, post production, music and dance professionals to capture the beauty and fragility of some of Tasmania’s endangered flora. Thanks goes to all those who were involved.


‘What an inspiring team effort it was. From the pre-production brainstorming, background logistical and crew wrangling, to the hectic fabric preparation and set design – thank you!


‘To the fabulous underwater dancers and the detailed costume making and hemming of the fabric panels, the help with shot sequencing and the cinematographers – thank you!


‘Thanks to the technical assistance from the wonderful Dive Crew who proved to be invaluable.


‘Thanks to the many wonderful people who were involved with the catering and delivery of such delicious food, and the calm and practical management of all the myriad production jobs to be done – thank you!’


The underwater filming took place at night on Thursday 8 and Friday 9, April at the Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre.


Deborah continued:


‘I’m also very grateful to everyone who played a part in making the incredible underwater film shoot for my “Sartorial Naturalist” project a reality!’ she said.


‘We did a whole new overnight film shoot on the 8 May 2021 to capture much needed footage and then began filming the above water scenes of Deborah, Sinsa and Felicity at various locations around Tasmania.’

The ‘Sartorial Naturalist’ crew

Production – Lara Van Raay, Courtney Collins, Michael Gissing


Camera & Lighting – Michael Gissing, Fraser Johnston, Takani Clark, Troy Melville, Rebecca Thompson, Finn Clarke


Dancers – Felicity Bott, Sinsa Mansell, Isobel Fraser


Costumes and sewing – Celyna Ziolkowski, Nicole Ottrey, Geraldine Atapathu


Divers – Dane Jones, Rob Bloomfield, Ben Rae, Eamonn Ganley, David Page, Brent Cashion, Nick Boucher


Catering – Maura Chamberlain, Ian Salisbury, Reuben Fraser, Ivano del Pio, Kate Kelly, Iona Johnson


Pre-production assistance – Roger Scholes, Anna Cadden, Lucy Wilson, Diana Michalek, Julie Martin, Adam Christ


Graphic Design – Nelson Grubb, Georgie Pajak


Recording/mixing – Michael Gissing


Musical score composition – Elicia Casey-Winter (cello played by Georgia Shine, clarinet and saxophone played by Oyinbra Enisuoh; with improvisation by both. Vocals by Deborah Wace and bowed piano by Elicia Casey-Winter; vocals sung in palawa kani by Sinsa Mansell).


A special thanks to Deidree McMaster for ‘rescuing’ the second underwater film shoot (but that’s another story).


This film was made possible by generous funding through the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Tasmania & Screen Tasmania.



Felicity Bott being filmed underwater for the Sartorial Naturalist.

Sinsa Mansell being filmed underwater for the Sartorial Naturalist film, seen in post production in Michael Gissing’s studio.

Isobel Fraser being filmed underwater for the Sartorial Naturalist film, seen in post production in Michael Gissing’s studio.

Deborah Wace as the Sartorial Naturalist, seen in post production in Michael Gissing’s studio.

Share this post