Through her research and artworks Trish poses questions about what it means to be human in the twenty-first century, and the ways in which our understanding of ourselves will be changed by contemporary biotechnical and ecological developments.
In 2003, in a first for an artist, Trish changed adult stem cells from her blood into beating cardiac cells in vitro in the laboratory at the School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland. This work underpinned the interactive artwork machina carnis. In 2007 Trish became visiting artist in residence with the Visual and Sensory Neuroscience group at the Queensland Brain Institute, where she participated in experiments on cognition and navigation strategies in the European Honeybee. The first artwork from this residency: HOST, 2008 has been shown widely both nationally and internationally. This on-going honeybee research highlights the ecological issues faced by the endangered honey bees and contemporary explorations into inter-species proximity, with a particular emphasis on the comparative stresses faced by the endangered honeybees and overcrowded urban communities explored in the artworks Urban Swarming, 2013 and Disordered Swarming, 2014. Most recently, Trish took live honeybees to the Australian Synchrotron where they were imaged at the Medical Imaging Beamline.
Trish’s on-going interest in the 'natural philosophers' and comparisons between nineteenth century scientific research tools and present day technologies has also been explored in her projects Wave Writer, 2004 and mellifera, 2009.
A recent collaboration with a hearing specialist at the ‘Sensory Laboratory’ at RMIT University’s Institute of Health Sciences, received an Australia Council for the Arts Artist’s with Disabilities Grant and resulted in the Disconnections artworks. This research project will inform Trish’s interest in both the physiological and emotional effects of deafness and her creation of interactive artworks that will aid awareness within the community of the issues faced by the deaf.
From 2009 to 20013 Trish held the part-time position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT School of Art. Trish is now an Adjunct Professor at QUT iCi in Brisbane and a Visiting Research fellow at HIRi, RMIT Bundoora, Melbourne.
Trish has published her research widely and presented at conferences such as: New Constellations: Art, Science & Society, M.C.A. Sydney, 2006; Perth Digital Art & Culture Conference, 2007; ISEA2008, Singapore; Eye of the Storm, Tate Britain, U.K. 2009; Virtual Anatomies, The University of Queensland, 2011; ISEA2011, Istanbul, Turkey, Rewire2011, Liverpool, U.K; and ISEA, Sydney, 2013.