Ghost Trees



"ghost trees"

Artist:james mcGrath

composer: gary sinclair

datasets: tern austraklia

consulating scientist: professor kim calder

the lume


permenatent immersive gallery

Installed 2022-2023

120 Projectors, 50 speakers

20 channel video (all >8k quality)

3d setup. Tech Specs.

Pre visualisation of space Projection mapping and audio setup 3000 square metres floor area 11m walls 143 high definition high powered projectors 4400 square metres of projection surface 50 speakers 20 channel video

Creative Direction


Ghost Trees is an Immersive exploration of the endangered Rushworth Forest Victoria Australia in the lands of the Ngurai illam wurrung people Created by visualizing and sonifying massive data sets provided by TERN Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network CSIRO These Lidar datasets are ephemeral yet fixed recordings of dying ecosystems digital memories of disappearing landscapes echoes of our lost environment We take the viewpoint of someone within the landscape We fly through branches of trees experiencing the forest from unique perspectives

The Soundtrack is contemporary, ambient and textural.

Detailed, welcoming and inviting.

Field recordings (TERN) morph into music and back again.

Birds become pianos, wind through trees become strings.

Melodic elements are generated from the tree's spatial data points - the forest is singing.

composer: gary sinclair

Audio Direction

The work strives to re imagine and re experience our connection to the wonder and awe of the natural environment through art data science and technology The use of digital technologies the new and thriving ecosystem offers a counterpoint to the endangered natural environment and a doorway through which to remotely experience it in an entirely new way

Creative Direction

Ghost Trees is an existing work with 100 s of 4k video fly throughs For the Lume installation we intend to de construct the existing work and recreate it in the Lume environment The multi screen capacity and spatial audio system enables us to fully envelope the audience within the forest within the branches and structure of the trees


Existing Visual and audio assets exist.

This allows maximum time to adapt the assets to work successfully within the Lume System

3-D models of the data are kept clean and remain detailed, there is minimal visual processing or visual effects added which maintains the integrity of the narrative being told by the data

There is no superficial barrier or visual trickery obscuring the beauty of the data from the audience. The simple majesty of nature is represented in all its glory.

This approach allows the work to be generated quickly and efficiently, avoiding any CGI rendering obstacles.

As the forest is based on 3D data it is possible to create multiple viewpoints as separate video channels.


Creative Directors James McGrath Visual Director James McGrath Audio Director Gary Sinclair Environmental Lidar Consultant Kim Calders TERN Audio Mastering William Bowden

Key Creatives

james mcgrath

Currently represented by Olsen Gallery in Sydney and Keating Gallery London.

With over twenty solo exhibitions, James McGrath has, during the past two decades, explored the meeting point between art, architecture, theatre and digital media.

McGrath’s professional experience shows a dynamic range of artistic expression with an engaged focus on historical imagery, digital media and traditional art making.

Before graduating from The University of New South Wales with Masters in architecture, (first class honours) he worked as a studio assistant to Arthur Boyd for eight months.

He has exhibited extensively hroughout the world, showing in New York, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Paris. His work has been commissioned for public and private spaces in Beijing, Majorca, Spain, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Sydney, London and New York.

Recent video works (2021-2022)


1994 Master of Architecture, First Class Honours (UNSW)


2021 LUNA festival of light, art and technology.New Orleans, USA, “Ghost Trees” screening

2021 DLECTRICITY, Detroit Institute of Art, USA, “Ghost Trees” screening

2021 Paddington Landscape Art Prize Finalist

2021 KAAF finalist, Sydney

2021 Northern Beaches Environmental Art awards, Finalist, Sydney

2021 “Luscus” , Solo show, Olsen gallery, Sydney

2020 “Collectivus”, group show, Olsen gallery, Sydney

2020 1.5 Degrees, group show, Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2019 People’s Choice award, Mosman Art Prize

2019 Mosman Art Prize finalist

2018 Mosman Art Prize finalist

2018 “The flooded Library”, Olsen gallery, Sydney

2016 “Ocular/Speculo”, Olsen Irwin, Sydney

2015 “Ocular/Fleur”, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong

2014 “Ocular/Fleurs, Olsen Irwin Gallery , Sydney

2013 “Lacuna/ Anamnesis”, Olsen Irwin Gallery , Sydney

2013 Sydney International Art fair, Olsen Irwin Gallery

2012 Marnling Press , Group show, Maitland Regional Art Gallery

2011 “ex libris”, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong

2011 “ex libris”, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney

2011 “ex libris”, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong

2010 “Cranium”, Artereal Gallery, Group show, Sydney

2009 “Ghost Nets" , Sculpture by the Sea, Site specific digital performance, Tamarama Beach, Sydney

2009 “carriageARTworks”, Carriage works , Group show, Sydney

2009 “Chiaroscuro”, Artereal Gallery, Group show, Sydney

2008 " Recent Work", Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2007 "Pozzo's Shadow", Gibsone Jessop Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2006 " 400 Years", Gibsone Jessop Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2005 "Variations on Baroque Ceilings", Michael Carr art gallery, Sydney, Australia Solo painting exhibition

2004 "Vision & Verse", Nevill Keating Gallery, London 2004

2004 “Baroque Ensembles ”, MCG Galleries, Solo show New York

2003 "Quadrautura", Michael Carr art gallery, Sydney

2002 “Dutchscapes”, MCG Galleries, Solo show New York

2001 "Infra-red Baroque", Michael Carr art gallery, Sydney

2000 J.Paul Getty Museum & Laguna Art Museum, "Baroque and modernity", Screening of “theatres of anatomy", Los Angeles

2000 Museum of Sydney “Harbour/Metropolis” Audio Visual installation 'tidal vectors', Sydney

2000 National Digital Art Awards Group Show , Queensland Museum of modern Art, Brisbane

2000 "Cusp- a study of folds and flora" solo painting show, Michael Carr art gallery, Sydney

1999 Sydney Film Festival, "theatres of anatomy", digital animation 99, Twin Academy, Paddington, Sydney

1999 Sculpture by The Sea festival, "CUSP#2", Site specific digital performance, Tamarama Beach, Sydney

1998 Runner up to Olympic Torch design (in Powerhouse collection)

1996 Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, Solo Exhibition

1995 Queen Street Fine Art, Sydney, Solo Exhibitions