Lynette Wallworth honoured with Crystal Award by World Economic Forum

Lynette Wallworth.  

Filmmaker and artist Lynette Wallworth, creator of the Emmy Award-winning VR work Collisions and Awavena, is one of the 2020 recipients of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award.

The Crystal Award celebrates the achievements of artists and cultural figures whose leadership inspires inclusive and sustainable change. Previous recipients of the award include Sir David Attenborough, Cate Blanchett, Margaret Atwood, Sir Elton John, Shah Rukh Khan and Shirin Neshat.

Wallworth is the second Australian to receive the honour and was awarded for her leadership in creating inclusive narratives. Wallworth’s Collisions premiered at the World Economic Forum and Sundance in the same week. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Virtual and and a member of the board of trustees of the Sundance Institute.

“I have sought to use my skills as an artist to bring unheard voices, including Indigenous voices, into the rooms they have been excluded from. These voices ring out with resilience, persistence, power and grace. In supporting my work, the creation and the presentation of it, the World Economic Forum has helped me place it in front of those I most wished to impact, those whose decisions help shape our shared future. I am immensely grateful that these works, these voices, have been heard and are being honoured by a Crystal Award,” said Wallworth.

Other recipients of the 2020 award included artiust Theaster Gates, choreographer Jin Xing and actor Deepika Padukone.

Wallworth is currently working on a podcast with Bunya Productions, Engineering Consciousness, which will investigate what happens to someone’s consciousness when they face a near-death experience. Over a number of episodes Wallworth will interview a range of artists, scientists, neurologists and Indigenous leaders in order to understand new technologies and medical trials that are attempting to activate vision states in others. The podcast will be used to develop a television drama series on the same topic, and will be produced by Sophia Zachariou and Greer Simpkin, with development funding provided by Screen Australia.

On Engineering Consciousness, Wallworth said: “After a life time of hiding the truth of my how my perception of reality was shaped by my near death, this podcast provides a means for me to enter the realm of a host of visioning artists and to combine that with new technologies, new bio imaging tools and new medicalised trials that are attempting to activate vision states.”

The Crystal Award winners will be honoured in the opening session of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on January 20. The ceremony will be webcast live at at 17.45 CET.