Global climate change is a monumental problem for our planet. However, the issues for the developed world (food security/miles, obesity) are very different to those of the developing world (sustaining large populations, lost production and land due to cyclones & rising sea levels). All of us will in some way need to change the way we create, consume and exist. I have focused my attention on sourcing food in a more sustainable way – reducing food miles by growing some of my own.
The Delicious Suburbia Project has grown to include study in Permaculture and the creation of a thriving food garden compete with chooks. My current art practice reflects this interest as I investigate food production, our perceptions of nature and the changing natural world.
Over the last ten years I have focused on environmental issues through my studio and community art project work. In 2011 I created a thirty metre long PET plastic river highlighting the overuse of PET bottles and in 2012 I created Rubbish to Rainbows a three metre freestanding rainbow made from recycled coloured plastic toys. Last year I created a five metre relief mural using wood rounds cut from local timbers that related to the Diamond Creek.
Our simultaneous dependence on and need to control nature has created a curious and complex relationship. On one hand we love and adore nature and on the other it is a terrifying reminder of our inevitable death and decomposition. In an attempt to control nature we symbolically objectify food production with the genre of 'gardenalia'. In my current studio practice I’m investigating objects and imagery concerned with food growing, changing ecologies and microbial activity rather than a still version of plant civility.
I am influenced by environmental artists such as Anges Denes, Andy Goldsworthy and Nils-Udo however my investigation leads me to use some materials not directly sourced from nature. I’m currently working with acrylic house paint on timber rounds. The timber is prepared by being sliced with a chainsaw and sanded forming a smooth painting surface. Previously I have made larger sculptural works using recycled materials as a way of highlighting the environmental impact of unnecessary packaging. By using timber in this way I’m hoping that the form of the work will relate to and highlight the theoretical content.
Looking to the Sun, The Fall, Kohl Rabi & Zucchini and Pumpkin Runner are all examples of recent work where the image of food plants references their natural state and our potential consumption. Using real food plants and human resuscitation equipment has been a recent development.
The relationship between the content of my work and its form is something I wish to explore further. The coexistence of idea and form is something I appreciate in the work of sculptor Jamie North. Jamie speaks of a “tensional engagement between things”. I think the engagement between ideas and form help to create a richer, deeper work that offers multiple interpretations.
ART + CLIMATE = CHANGE 2015 is a festival of climate change related arts and ideas featuring curated exhibitions alongside a series of keynote lectures and public forums featuring local and international guests.
As part of ART + CLIMATE = CHANGE three weekends in May I volunteered to help facilitate the Maldives Exodus Caravan Show located at Federation Square. The show was an interactive installation with video, music and games designed by Soren Dalhgaard. The installation considered the plight of low lying islands directly affected by global climate change. This was an opportunity for artists to experience how others are responding creatively to climate change.