It’s been a busy few months and a busy 2 weeks still to come with three art projects to complete for two exhibitions. These are all outcomes of my Honours study and the culmination of a year of research into alternative ways of engaging in the climate change discussion. The ‘raising awareness’ approach of past works is not necessarily effective at getting people’s attention and these new projects are focussed on either exploring solutions or looking for ways to promote a reconnection with each other and the planet and to put climate change in the broader context of all the problems we face.
Exhibition: (Honours), University Gallery, Nov 30 to Dec 10 – opening Saturday, Dec 3 from 2pm.
Six of the Bachelor of Fine Art Honours graduates for 2016 will exhibit at this show and six others at Watt Space gallery. My work for this exhibition is the result of a residency with scientists in the school of Physics who are researching low cost paintable solar cells.
Three of these devices will hang amongst the trees behind the university gallery. The black box contains a loudspeaker and will play native bird calls interspersed with political rhetoric on renewable energy and climate change. The work is called Off Grid and the units are driven by solar power generated by prototype thin film solar cells developed at the University of Newcastle. The devices are motorised and the film will roll up and down as it is charged and discharged, thereby allowing the sun to be shared by others. This is experimental and will no doubt feature some technical bugs (the solar film only became available two weeks ago) but will hopefully survive the elements for the two weeks of the exhibition.
Exhibition: Every Breath, The Lock-Up Gallery, Newcastle, Dec 10 to Jan 29 – opening Friday, Dec 9 at 6pm.
Late in 2015 I was invited by The Lock-Up in Newcastle to curate an exhibition with an environmental theme to be held in December 2016. I proposed a different approach. Climate change is just one of the many serious challenges that face humanity and most of them are to do with a loss of connection with nature and each other – many of the ecological, social and political crises have this in common. This exhibition uses air and breath as a way of promoting reconnection and empathy. Under the guidance of local curator Meryl Ryan, 12 local and international artists and others were invited to respond to this concept. I am contributing two works. It will be a very rich and diverse exhibition that should provoke a different way of thinking.
This interactive work Life Support System will come alive on a huge scale animated by stock market prices and the breathing patterns of nature and humanity as it fills the main gallery at the Lock Up.
This work Catch Your Breath will allow visitors to capture their own breath in a photograph as they blow bubbles in an aquarium tank.
I hope to see you at one or both of these shows! If anyone would like a personalised tour of the Lock Up exhibition, let me know.