Paula Dawson, internationally acclaimed hologram artist and lecturer at UNSW's College of Fine Arts (COFA) has received a Federal Government grant of over $800,000 to research the creation of the world's largest hologram in Melbourne's Federation Square.

Entitled Destination, the work will consist of a curtain of holographic images of water that is 8 metres high and 16 metres long, making it a world first in both scale and ground breaking technology.

The hologram will create an immersive environment of water, filmed at various localities around Melbourne.

The Australian Research Council Linkage Grant involves a collaboration with Federation Square, Australia Council for the Arts, Geola Digital and Geola Technology.

Dawson will head the project's multi-disciplinary team of international experts in the fields of urban design, holography and lasers.

"What can I say, this is wonderful news. It will be so good to finally realise this research adventure that has been on the drawing board for so long," said Dawson.

Dawson has made some of the world's largest laser transmission holograms and has held residencies at the Laboratoire de Physique Besancon, France; RMIT, Melbourne and the Centre for Advanced Visual Studies Massachusetts (MIT). Her first major hologram work of a lounge room, There's No Place Like Home (1980) is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

Dawson will begin work on Destination in early 2009 after completing residencies at Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Holocentre in New York.