Works for 'Creative Constellations: Atlas of Radical Hope'

Welcome to the 'Creative Constellations: Atlas of Radical Hope' Submissions Assessments Page

As you will see, there are many wonderful concepts, words and images for you to review.

Please refer to the Creative Constellations Assessment Brief and the Creative Constellations Ratings Excel Spreadsheet provided to you via email.

A link to the project’s webpage is here.

There are five criteria and each criteria is to be scored out of five (1 being least, and 5 being the most favoured), as well as columns for personal and general comments.

Please know that this assessment webpage is only accessible with a link (please don’t share it).

If you have any queries at all please telephone Deborah Hart on 0458 447 702 or Pippa Bailey on 0432 188 604.

Thank you so much for your involvement, we hope you enjoy reviewing these submissions!

 

Tile image credit: Deanne Gilson, 2021 Delama Murnong Murrup Bagurrk (honouring and embracing women’s business through the murnong spirit).

Trace Balla & Andrew McSweeney

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

The idea for this funding is a project myself and Andrew McSweeney have been collaborating on for the last year (without funding so far). I have been writing lyrics which Andrew has recorded into songs to be sung, in singalong with others – everybody!— including an illustrated songbook with stories behind the songs and links to recordings. We hope to do a few gigs and mostly to get the songs out into the world to be sung. It is a time of much despair, fear, anger and destruction – and it also a time for change, a time for communities to come together in song and support, in kindness and care, which is the general theme of these songs.

So far we have done two small “singalongs” with around 80 – 100 people at each, where we used projections for them to see the words to sing. The response was amazing, with lots of joy and also lost of tears. Many people have asked for the words and were so glad to be singing with rather than sung too. The idea of the songbook which will also be an ebook is that the songs can spread beyond the singalong events. There will be links to recordings on line so they can be listened
to, to learn as well. Eventually we hope to have musical notes commissioned for the purpose of sharing.

Songs include “may we all stand together” written as a First Nations’ ally in response to racist comments leading up to Survival Day, 2023. This song has been well received by First Nations People including local Elders, Uncle Rick Nelson and Aunty Kath Coff, as well as Gunditjmara Elder Uncle Jim Berg who wishes for this to be sung far and wide. It has been described as “a moving plea to listen to how mob are feeling and to stand together” – click here to find songs and lyrics.

Some songs are aimed at children including a song about protecting the greater glider:

“Wouldn’t be flowers without bees
Wouldn’t be gliders without trees
Wouldn’t be stars without the sky things go together
Oh can you think why”

A song about…

“instead of throwing your stuff away
Why not fix or mend
Treat this planet that were all part of
Treat this planet like a friend.”

Other songs include themes of after someone dies, inclusion, the “privilege of village”, gratitude, taking care of the crowd, being “stronger together, we’re stronger as one”, and a yearning for living in ancestral ways.

The funding for our hard work would be excellent, and I imagine this project would be a wonderful and very suitable inclusion in the sustainable living festival program, bringing people together in song in heartfelt and meaningful ways.

I am unclear as to what image to show for application and for map so would supply more suitable /higher res for map if accepted.

I’d love to see mapped on it My mural (Pik included).
That is on the wall of the Hub foundation, this mural is able to be printed for any community use.

It depicts the values of the hub foundation and our local community for a vision of a way to live together lightly on this precious Earth Home.

I’d also love to see on the map of myself as an uthor/illustrator creating books that envision a future that depicts our local community for a vision of a way to live together lightly on this precious Earth Home. (Landing with Wings and Leaf-light , both set here on Djaara Country, Rivertime set on Gunditjmara/Boandik Country, and Rockhopping set in Gariwerd). There is much First Nations Cultural content in my books, and the first page of the books and the final page of author notes speak muchabout this. I take great care to do so diligently and from the beginning of each project.

HOW OUR WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

I have been self employed for most of the last 35 years working as an illustrator, community artist, author, workshop facilitator and speaker – all with the primary focus of deep care for the Earth and all life, as well as social justice with a particular interest in First Nations allyship. I use my artistic voice to inspire deep care via touching the heart of my audience and participants. I have worked alongside local organisations such as Nalderun Aboriginal Education Organisation, local library and kinder/childcare networks, the local arm of Rural Australians for Refugees, organic food farmers, the Hub Foundation that’s purpose is Tackling Climate Change Locally, Cycle Safe Mount Alexander- local bike advocacy group, La Trobe university Bendigo outdoor Education course teaching nature journaling, wildlife rescue shelters including Redbox Wildlife Shelter, local landcare, the local council community pages, the Castlemaine childcare co-op philosophy … as well as organisations further afield including Parks Victoria, the Wilderness Society, Wildlife Victoria, Waratah program menstrual education, st Lukes, Anglicare, The Smith Family, The bluebird Foundation, The council of Single mothers, The women’s circus, the Mordialloc Snapper Festival, the lake Bolac Eel Festival, Ethical Shopping Guide, and We Can’t Wait sanitation program for girls in schools in India… the list goes on.

My own books envision local community, living lightly with deep care and connection to Country. My last books Landing with Wings and Leaf-light, are both set here on Djaara Country and include a smoking ceremony welcome to Country. There is much First Nations Cultural content in my books, and the first page of the books and the final page of Author notes speak much about this. I take great care to do so diligently and from the beginning of each project. There is bush tucker, wildlife carers, much detail on local ecology, and ways of living that are within the realms of permaculture which is inspired by my life and lives around me. The main characters travel by bike, grow food, share chicken eggs and home grown fruit, one has a tiny house, they compost, chop wood, milk goats and look out for each other… they draw in nature journals, trade without cash, spot endangered species, plant trees, and acknowledge First Nations People. They take down fences literally and symbolically. The books include gender diversity, all abilities, and ages.
The books are much loved across the country as well as locally. At the book launches I have big local gatherings and many speak including local Elders and other First Nations People, ecologists, bird experts, nest box makers, wild life carers, wildlife Victoria… teacher notes from the last book are written in two way teaching with Aunty Kath Coff of Nalderun Aboriginal Education with notes from a first nations world view as well as Dino Ceveranti with a non aboriginal view.

ARTIST BIOS:

Trace Balla lives on Djaara Country, and is of settler (English / French) and refugee (Hungarian) background. Her focus is on envisioning and inspiring a future that is much more aligned with deep care of the earth and all life, than the current capitalist way of life. Trace creates graphic novels and children’s books about connecting with Country and community, works as an illustrator for community and environmental organisations, and facilitates workshops and professional development sessions. She finds inspiration in nature and incorporates local plant and animal species into her detailed, cartoon-style books. Trace has worked and volunteered alongside Nalderun Aboriginal Education Corporation for several years, works closely and firstly with First Nations People on any project with First Nations content, writes song lyrics, appears as an inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator, particularly inspiring cartooning, pre-literacy for kids by mixing words with pictures and stories, and nature journaling. Click here to see her website.

Andrew McSweeney is a prolific and powerful songwriter, singer and guitarist with a loyal and hungry following of listeners, currently promoting his EP, Hiding In Plain Sight, with his band The Wishing horse. He has collaborated and shared song with greats including Daryl Braithwaite, Kutcha Edwards and Mundaway Yunapingu. He is currently working with Trace Balla on a series of songs with her lyrics and his music, to create a visual songbook and event. Andrew is the founder of Living Learning Australia (LLA), working in music mentoring. training, artist management/ development, and wellbeing. LLA is a diverse business that includes the Arts (including the School of Loving Music), the Environment (including Transition Town Kensington and Closed Loop economy practices) and Wellbeing programs. Click here for Living Learning website.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION ENTRY.

Hannah Berry

Withdrawn 30 Jan 24

ART PROPOSAL:

Imagine a world woven from waste(?), where everyone nurtures the environment and each other. Haha!!! What a dream you think! A movie? No, a reality…

I propose to make a series of conceptual sculptural shoes that invite the community to engage in the man made mounds that are growing astronomically across our lands, in our waterways and skies. They will be a call to action in redesigning the future of our planet by inviting the viewer to step into the reality we are facing. The shoes would be presented in a small circle as a symbol of how we must come together, and demand change, now. The shoes will take shape as a response to the issues we are readily facing and will continue to impact communities around the world. Rising oceans as tall platform shoes, the urgency of reforestation with seed-dispersing shoes, and other critical environmental needs yet to be explored.

This would be a community focused series where all materials to create the artefact’s would be gathered from the bins of friends, family and peers. The shoe series provokes debate through raising awareness to the climate crisis of landfill, ethical production and consumption. By weaving the materials together through a series of weaving workshops as a deliberately slow practice will highlight the need to slow down and understand craftsmanship, labor and appreciate ethical production. As mentioned in my artist statement I am committed to unpacking and shifting the societal value affiliated with waste(?). Through using these materials as a resource, I believe we can reshape our value systems to re-imagine a new today by caring for what we have, a shift in perspective to better the future of our planet.

As soon as we are born, we are introduced to the world of textiles, for centuries we have been adorning our bodies and ours homes; as stated by Barber Wayland ‘Cloth is the original Technology’. This ‘technology’ is at a point where our earth cannot keep up, ‘In the last 15 years, clothing production has approximately doubled at a global level’ (AFC, 2023) with individuals consuming on average 14.8 kg of clothing per year (AFC, 2023), wearing only 20% (AFC, 2023) and globally discarding 9.2 million tons per year (RU,2023). It is evident our consumptive practices must change. I have chosen to develop shoes because historically they have represented social class, political hierarchy and wealth, which is something we see today in our current consumptive practices. I want to present them as symbol of hope to walk together for change. By collaborating with friends, family and peers the shoes will not only be a symbol of collective unity but a representation of how working together, diverting materials from landfill, we can create a better future of appreciation and care. All photo documentation of the production of the shoes can be shared alongside the sculpture to show the coming together of community in the workshops.

Receiving the micro grant would give me the space financially to be able to design and develop the shoe series, which would honestly just be a dream.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

My work involves many elements of climate justice through material use, presentation and conversation. By only using waste(?) materials I seek to bring awareness to how we can re-imagine waste(?) streams by diverting materials from landfill to create luxury products. Social issues are what drive my creative practice, as I invite the public to explore the value systems affiliated with discarded materials, to critique the current throw away culture and prompt behavior change in a humorous way.

I believe that laughter is an inviting tool for change. The current climate we are living in today is scary. In the media we see constant destruction and blaming each other, a lack of responsibility, which has been stated in academia as a major issue for engagement from community. My practice is absurd, it’s silly, it’s fun yet wildly serious all at the same time. Through all my work I aim to create a space that is inviting and fun for everyone to come together through laughter and creativity. Through my public performances and costumes, I have invited the public to participate in dressing up and dancing together (Leigh’s House), disrupt habits through a trash engulfed roller-skating performance (Don’t Panic, We’re Fakes TOO!!!), reposition the viewer through an ad hoc diorama series (Shopping Experience) creating humorous scenes inside a cardboard box that highlight our consumer habits and the destruction of our environment.

My Tumour Chunk Sculpture series was created to re-imagine the future of our spaces by using waste as a resource to construct our interiors. This is a continuous experimental practice that invites people to consider what makes waste, challenging the purity politics in aesthetics of architecture and interior design that are trend driven at a cost of the earth’s finite resources.

I have created a series of printed zines that are a satirical play on a traditional fashion magazine. They prompt documentation of the environmental toll and cost of fashion visualizing the power of abuse and corruption, demanding the understanding of the cost of a T-shirt and basic human rights. It proposes alternatives that would drive consumerism using green energy, for example an electrical cord woven bag that could be plugged in to a solar battery to charge your shopping addiction. This satirical approach I believe makes the harsh reality we experience daily an inviting space to come together, digest the implications of our habits through giggles to demand action collectively.

In my professional work I am committed to sharing knowledge and creating a sense of community for all humans. I have designed and developed a series of creative workshops working with the Starlight Foundation and Beyond the Fabric. I currently work in Academia at RMIT where I am committed to nurturing and fostering creativity through challenging the linear systems of fashion manufacturing and design. Throughout all my work I am dedicated to proposing ideas and engaging people in conversation around climate justice through alternative methods (laughter) particularly within the context of fashion, consumption and the built environment.

ARTIST BIO:

I am a multidisciplinary fashion practitioner whose material led creative practice swims amongst the pools of Costume, Performance Art, Sculpture, Zine Making, Fashion artefacts and Installation. I am primarily interested in social engagement art and how this can drive social change through human interaction with unconventional materials, humor and connection. I am very passionate about engaging the community to encourage new thinking whilst drawing attention to environmental and social issues. Over the last few years, I have been constantly investigating what fashion is and materials are, creating my own lens to critique and satirize the institutions and systems of power that currently drive our existence in context of consumer behavior and the forbidden word…. Sustainability. The current state of the world is terrifying, and I aim to engage people through having fun! I am known by many as a rubbish(?) practitioner, quite “litter-ally”, as my practice feasts on what human’s call ‘garbage-waste-trash’ questioning: What makes waste, well, waste?

Click here to see my website.

Kirri Büchler

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

The work that I’m offering is based on a piece I created for a sound and light installation in 2022, “You Have Progressed”.  I propose to adapt and further develop it into a standalone immersive work. The piece will be accompanied by oceanic imagery, and/or could work in symbiosis with other artworks on the webpage.  The piece exposes the absurdity of progress, correlating the virtual landfill in our collective brains (living in a state of endless scrolling with our ever-shortening attention spans) and our inability to act.  “You Have Progressed” takes the form of a Telstra-esque hold message, accompanied by score and sound design.  It has elements of dark humour (Thank you for your patience, you are very important to us) and got wonderfully mixed reactions (they laughed and they cried) in it’s first iteration.  To get an idea of the work, please click here to see my website and listen (with headphones please) to “You Have Progressed”.  I suggest listening from the 4 minute mark.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

In my previous work I have engaged the topics of Neoliberalism, in the work We Pay to Be Where The Party Isn’t which I co-wrote and composed score for and performed in, and decolonisation with performance installation MuseumUNDONE.  I composed and/or played live sound for all the works in this piece.    Having engaged and immersed myself in these concepts I have naturally linked their thematics with the impending climate disaster, especially as a person generally preoccupied with climate change! I’m also interested in how Multi-Racial White Suprematist Patriarchy or MRWaSP as coined by Robin James in her book on pop music, neoliberalism and feminism Resilience and Melancholy, has influenced our collective blindness and obliviousness to the impending climate disaster as we turn our very short attention span to more immediate, more amusing things like cat videos (for example).  In being encouraged by popular culture (which is driven by the machine that is neoliberalism) to be more resilient, we actually become senseless and disconnected and in doing so we make oppressive and destructive systems stronger.

ARTIST BIO:

I’m currently in Albury in the middle of composing score for a circus production for Borderville Circus Festival (the working title is Airborne, and it’s theme is around extinction, particularly birds that are in danger of imminent extinction), so have very little time to knock this application out!  I do hope I get my point across though and please feel free to contact me if anything needs clarification.

I live Regional Victoria in the Dja Dja Wurrung,  and I’m a sound artist rather than a visual artist. I play both traditional and experimental music, and I also create soundscapes, and compose score and sound design for a variety of different projects.  My website below (which is desperately in need of an update) can give you an idea of the projects that I have been involved in. I play violin and double bass and frequently use these instruments in my work, and also use synthesisers, field recordings, piano, accordion, and software instruments and processes.

Melanie Chilianis

Grant recipient

Symbi-chime is a place-based improvising project. As someone who is both an instrumentalist and an electroacoustic artist, Symbi-chime recognises that recording ‘nature’ with technological devices is untenable in this era of climate emergency. A large unseen group of people labour over the components used in audio technology. When making field recordings, the artist behind the recording device is also usually unseen, casting their listening net. In this sense, there is a large degree of “listening extraction” that is tied up with a colonial gaze (Navajo installation artist and composer, Raven Chacon).

In Symbi-chime, I juxtapose improvised flute performance on Wurunjeri Woiwurung country, which oscillates between a harmonious exchange and discord. This is not simply a transferral from indoor to outdoor performance. But an occasion for people to listen more closely to all sounds, and thus gain a greater awareness of noise pollution, the natural ebb and flow of sounds around a river ecosystem that has flooded in the past 18 months, and the performer’s interrelation with these.

I propose a series of place-based performances that begin with a short community sound walk in conjunction with the Sustainability Festival.

Olivia Davies, Louise Devenish & Aaron Wyatt

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

Sonic Possible Worlds is a music and film project featuring a series of five short performance works for percussion, electronics, and film exploring extraordinary natural phenomena resulting from interactions between water and light, from the sparkle of specular reflection, to the illusion that colour fades and disappears the deeper you go underwater. Human interventions in bodies of water are changing underwater ecologies and phenomena, often unseen and unheard below the surface.

This proposal is for the final development of Preservation Reference Area, by Aaron Wyatt (composer/sound design), Louise Devenish (percussionist) and Olivia Davies (photography and video). This micro-grant would fund the completion of Davies’ short film. International companies are pushing to expand deep-sea mining in the ocean twilight zone, which lies 200 to 1,000 metres below the ocean surface, just beyond the reach of sunlight. It is one of the least explored areas on earth: cold and dark, but with flashes of bioluminescence produced by the vast diversity of living organisms within it. Studies suggest that the biomass of fish in the twilight zone may be ten times greater than previously thought—more than in all the rest of the ocean combined. Although 2023 was marked as a deadline for establishing bans, boundaries and protocols to protect unmined areas, this has been postponed to 2024. 21 countries have called for a pause or ban on deep-sea mining activities: Australia has so far been non-committal.

A significant impact of deep-sea mining is underwater noise pollution, which can travel up to 500 kilometres. Sound travels faster through water than air, and modelling of proposed sites for deep-sea mining shows that noise pollution as a result of mining could negatively impact areas far beyond the mining sites themselves, including preservation reference areas legally bound to be protected from the impacts of mining activities. This concept of unseen disturbance in bodies of water as a result of human interventions, and noise pollution in sites marked as mineral-rich will be explored using percussion instruments including waterphone, vibraphone, bass drums and electronics. Davies’ film will explore the same themes using reflective sheets of the same materials used in the percussion instrumentation – mylar, aluminium, and bronze alloys – as tools of distortion. Techniques around intrusion, disturbance and vibration will be explored to create uncanny abstract visuals.

Preservation Reference Area is designed to be presented as both a live performance with projection, and as a short film. We propose the video version of Preservation Reference Area for inclusion in Creative Constellations, and/or to propose live performance at the gallery. We have worked together previously in different combinations, but this will be our first work as a trio.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

The Sound Collectors Lab develops interdisciplinary creative works that reveal and communicate environmental stories, with projects ranging from sonic representations of natural phenomena for solo performer, through to group projects emphasising human impacts on the natural environment and broader issues surrounding the climate crisis to bridge the gap between data, reflection, and action. Our projects emphasise Australian stories, experiences, and places. Projects produce suites of connected outputs, including performances, short films, studio recordings, and installations.

PREVIOUS PROJECT ENGAGING WITH THESE THEMES:

Alluvial Gold: an interdisciplinary performance work that draws audiences into the changing worlds below river surfaces, revealing narratives, materials and ecologies otherwise unseen. During the European settlement establishments, native shellfish reefs within Australian rivers such as the Derbarl Yerrigan were dredged and ground up for mortar, roads and building materials at sites across the city. Similar histories of dredging took place in river systems across southern Australia, particularly in areas used as ports following European colonisation, changing estuarine ecologies. Sculptural instruments including bronze casts of lead-damaged dolphin bones and circles of sonified oystershell ‘curtains’ fitted with audio sensors, are brought together with vibraphone and sparkling clusters of metal and ceramic percussion to create a tapestry of sonic material, interwoven with underwater video and audio.

Our Place: an electro-acoustic work written for Ensemble Dutala, Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait chamber ensemble, by artistic director, Aaron Wyatt. Designed to work as a live performance and as an audio visual installation piece, both iterations featured in MUMA’s Collective Movements exhibition which brought together First Nations collectives, collaborations and creative practices from across Victoria. It is an exploration of place and the connection to country shared by Indigenous Australians: members of the ensemble submitted video of the places they were from, places that were special to them, and places they found themselves. The videos were used both as part of the visual component of the work and to create an electronic track underpinning the acoustic instruments.

We’re always touching underwater: a short film by Erin Coates, Alice Humphries and Devenish, that uses the established horror trope of ‘the body in pieces’ to examine environmental anxiety and the nature of loss. Filmed in Walyalup waters, syrupy slow vision of submerged ecologies is interrupted by the uncanny presence of unnaturally articulated human fingers. The serene benthic scenes are accompanied by a delicate score of vibraphonic tones, before a low breathiness and sliding bass sounds sink into the sonic texture.

Climate Notes: an interactive project that invites us to explore our emotions about the climate crisis through music, letter writing and video, building on the Is This How You Feel collections of handwritten letters by leading international science researchers. This emotive project features works for violin and percussion by 6 Australian composers, presented both in video installation and live music performance formats, alongside an interactive letter wall that attendees can contribute their own ‘climate note’ to, and floristry displays using garden waste from Royal Botanic Gardens.

ARTIST BIOS:

Louise Devenish is a percussionist who creates interdisciplinary works as a performer, and director and devisor. Her practice focuses on new modes of musical performance and instrumentality to explore the sounds, stories, and ecologies of the world around us, presenting this work in concerts, installations, and exhibitions. As a soloist, collaborator, and ensemble musician (The Sound Collectors Lab, Decibel, and others), she performs internationally at festivals such as MONA FOMA, Nagoya and Shanghai World Expos, Tage für Neue Musik, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and Tongyeong International Music Festival. Louise’s ‘interpretive flair and technical brilliance’ in performance has been recognised by APRA AMCOS Art Music Performance of the Year Awards and a Luminary Award, a Churchill Fellowship, and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship. Louise is Convenor of Classical Music and Percussion Coordinator at Monash University, where she is director of artistic research project The Sound Collectors Lab, creating new works with teams of collaborators across music, visual arts, digital arts and spatial design. To find her writing on music is published in books, journals, and zines, click here.

Olivia Bettina Davies is an Australian interdisciplinary artist with a practice including composition, photography, film and installation. She is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music that explore ideas of space, stasis and flow, resulting in texturally-driven and nuanced soundworlds, creating works ranging from experimental installations of light and sound through to orchestral composition. Davies is the current Composer-in-Residence with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO), and has been the recipient of a number of awards and scholarships including the Schenberg Music Fellowship in Composition and the prestigious 2022 Art Music Award: Large Ensemble for her piece Stratus (2021). Davies is currently undertaking a year-long Prelude residency at the renowned Peggy Glanville-Hicks house in Sydney, during which time she has developed three new works including a 6-hour performance installation titled Gradient premiered in an abandoned cinema in Perth.

Aaron Wyatt is a Noongar man, viola player, composer and conductor recognised as the first Australian First Nations person to conduct one of the major orchestras in Australia, conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2022. Aaron is a member of Decibel New Music, active as violist, composer and developer behind the Decibel ScorePlayer app, the group’s animated graphic notation software for the iPad. Aaron was nominated for a Helpmann Award for his musical direction of Cat Hope’s new noise opera Speechless, presented as part of the 2019 Perth International Arts Festival. He is currently an assistant lecturer at The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance at Monash University and completing a PhD with a research focus on animated graphic notation.

FLOAT

Submission for the Map only.

We are a floating art studio on Bung Yarnda/Lake Tyers. We offer residencies to artists who apply to live on board and create art that aligns with our philosophy of Creative Environmental Stewardship and regenerative collaboration.

FLOAT Artist In Residence’s (FLOAT AIR) mission is ultimately to create a network of artist- ready venues across Far East Gippsland, to be loaned, shared, leased, reinvented or repurposed as short term art studios and managed as a community led arts trail. This will be delivered through an accessible, low infrastructure concept, embedded in an iconic nature-rich region bringing artists and audiences to the region as a sustainable social enterprise.

We know we are making a difference to the world around us, here on Gunaikurnai country – in Far East Gippsland, by the creative collaborations we have initiated, enabled, loved, shared.

We have so much to tell you – we thought we would make mention of some of our past projects. And yet our network is gaining momentum so rapidly it is hard to know where to start and what to propose to you. Nonetheless – we hope you will dig a little deeper into our story and feel free to discuss with us what floats your boat the most.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION ENTRY.

Chelsea Hickman

Grant recipient

WORK PROPOSAL:

The proposed artworks will comprise of a textile installation consisting of multiple painted fabric banners hung, overlapping each other, against the gallery wall. The work continues on Hickman’s award winning ‘Danger Danger Danger’ and ‘Nothing Nothing Nothing Nothing Nothing’, and continue her anarchic and critical approach to visual art and fashion.

CHELSEA NOTES:

“I will use waste fabric primarily sourced from landfill to compile a frantic display of layered messaging, calls-to-action, and contemplations. These artefacts are part of a larger collection of banners – an ongoing project reflecting on protest, spectacle, and information culture.”

EXPERIENCE:

The installation will display the works as if they were in storage – an abject location for banners designed for public settings – actively either frustrating and inviting the viewer’s engagement. Promoting agency and engagement from gallery patrons – not simply the act of witnessing.

Influenced by her research and first hand experience working in the fashion industry, Hickman repurposes post-consumer garments as an act of fashion necromancy and through the use of handmade processes. The work is an invitation to engage critically with crisis.

This next iteration of Hickman’s series of upcycled Banner Art/Activism is an act of defiance to mass production and industrial capitalism’s war on the planet.

ARTIST BIO:

Contemporary artist and fashion designer focussing on consumerism, climate crisis, and textile waste. I work professionally as a fashion designer, and have a creative practice in fashion runway, visual art, projection, contemporary performance, and live art.

Winner of Victorian Premier’s Design Award for Fashion (2021, for MPavillion upcycled uniforms). Facilitator NGV’s ‘Student Summer School’, for ‘Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse’ Exhibition (2023). I’m also an Ambassador for Good Design Australia since 2022.

My textile work ‘Danger Danger Danger Danger Danger’ was Open Category Winner of the Woods Street Youth Art Prize (2020), and has been shown at The Substation, and Collingwood Yards. I was Yarra Youth Services ‘Artist in Residence’ (2020-21) including co-curator for Yarra City Council’s ‘International Women’s Day’ exhibition (Brunswick St. Gallery). I was winner of the ‘Creative Call Out’ for the Melbourne Fashion Festival. My work ‘Dead Stock’ trialed at CarriageWorks Sydney for Performance Space LiveDreams 2023.

My current studio practice is based at Studio Hall (South Melbourne).

Bachelor of Fashion Design (Honours) (RMIT, 2017); Graduate Certificate in Visual Art (VCA, 2022).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION ENTRY.

The Hive Collective

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

Create an immersive wetlands themed window space featuring:

–Two side hung floor to ceiling chiffon material swathes featuring artists’ depiction of wetland waters which will be fluid, moving gently in response to two small floor fans.
– Centre background display of wetland paintings featuring oils, acrylic and gouache pieces.
– Foreground display of wetland ceramics positioned on plinths of various sizes to provide mimic the soft undulations of wetland waters.

BIO:

I am part of The Hive Collective, a group of more than twenty artists in Victoria who are working together to promote sustainable care of Australia’s wetlands in support of mitigating climate change.

Bringing together ceramicists, photographers, painters and sculptors, our collective tells the stories of our wetlands one artwork at a time. With wetlands storing carbon at rates of up to 20-40 times more than terrestrial forests, their conservation is a key part of tackling climate change. As artists we can promote this message to new audiences.

Collaborating with a regional gallery (The Hive), local scientists (including from Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab, Parks Vic and Bellarine Catchment Network) and educational organisations (for example, schools, Barwon Heads Arts Council) our Collective is encouraging community awareness of the need to preserve these rapidly diminishing ecosystems that hold the future key to diverse, inclusive, healthy and resilient communities.

The educational part of our work includes this short film sponsored by the Regional Arts Fund which records artists sharing the stories behind their wetlands art, interspersed with scientists discussing the value and importance of sustainable wetlands management.

As an educator, I have also created Foundation to Level 6 visual arts lesson plans centred on the wetlands and aligned to the Victorian Curriculum, which addresses the cross curricula priority of sustainability and the requisite visual arts achievement standards. These lesson plans distributed to schools for free help students develop an appreciation for wetland environments and advocate step-by-step actions they can take to care for our wetlands. We are collaborating with the Bellarine Catchment Network to distribute these lessons further during their school wetlands immersion days.

Our short film serves as an introduction to the wetlands-themed exhibition by our Collective that The Hive Gallery has offered to host from May 31st- June 30th next year. As part of this exhibition, The Hive will host guided Gallery tours for school, probus and other community groups. For schools, this tour will reinforce the key sustainability lesson outcomes of the lesson plans created and provided by our Collective. Our exhibition will then move to the Aarwun Gallery in Canberra in late 2024 to be exhibited with the finalists of the National Capital Art Prize (NCAP) Sustainability category.

We would love to be part of CLIMARTE’s ‘Creative Constellations: Atlas of Radical Hope’ as part of the National Sustainable Living Festival in February 2024. Like CLIMARTE, we are committed to uniting and empowering not only our own community but communities on a national and international scale to protect, repair and regenerate our often-overlooked wetland environments that are a central piece in the jigsaw of climate change solutions.

Kathy Holowko

In discussions re workshop

ART PROPOSAL:

WILD CITY is an ongoing sculptural workshops series for children that explores urban ecology. From January to June 2024 the collaborative sculptural city, an animation and mural will be on exhibition in ArtPlay’s gallery located on Birrarung Marr (below Fed Sq) with interactive activities.

I propose to include this family friendly exhibition within the Climarte Creative Constellation. The Wild City sculpture is presented as an alternative future city where wild animals and humans co-exist and share the urban landscape. I incorporate the children ideas and small sculptural pieces in this curated sculpture. The work is my response to urban expansion, habitat loss and species extinction and uses real world examples of active change to propose a positive future vision.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON WORKSHOP SERIES:

Using sculpture as a medium for creative learning, children are introduced (via images and storytelling) to ideas of urban ecology and the real life issues that animals face in urban areas. Inspiring examples from around the world are explored where adaptions have been made to include animals. Children use the sculptural building blocks of a city to collaboratively explore ideas and create a Wild City together and in collaboration with the artist, by building habitat and infrastructure that considers the wild animal as a citizens in there urban landscape.

Wild City was originally created at ArtPlay with a New Ideas Lab Grant in 2018 it has gone on to appear at:
Sydney Opera House, Hyphen Gallery, Ballarat Art Gallery, Dream Big – South Australia Museum, Melbourne Knowledge Week, Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Glen Eira Town Hall, Monash Performing Arts Centre, Abbotsford Convent, Hawthorn Arts Centre, Kyneton Town Hall, Trentham Primary School and was a finalist in the Art for Social Change Exhibition where it won the People’s Choice Award.

GALLERY ACTIVITIES:

– Visitors are invited to use binoculars to search for specific animals, habitats and animal-friendly additions within the city that are included on a field naturalists check list. This keeps families engaged for a long time.
– The Wild City animation can be played to inform people of the concepts in the work.

ARTIST BIO:

I am interested in the effects that contemporary life has upon our understanding of ecology. I search for narratives and connections that can help us reconsider our world as a cyclical and shared habitat.

I do this on my own, and in collaboration with artists, museums, ecologists, rangers, wild life carers, scientists, industry and other humans of all scales. I believe in the power of art to help learn, to think, to meditate … and it is my way to mirror cultural environmental ideologies in the hope of building positive future visions.

I create sculptural works, installations, public art and playful projects in a variety of media. I find great beauty in making, and use the material that is right for the concept, transforming material matter in thoughtful ways to explore ideas and concepts that are studies of environments, organisms and their relationships, to share my findings with broad audiences.

In my work I have honoured the worm on a public plinth, created a sculptural light filled herbaria, searched for evidence of the evolution of beauty, camouflaged animals into city buildings, made wild urban animals visible in public space, untangled transgenic trends in insect fibres and explored piece of mind in the age of plastic.

I completed a Masters of Fine Art In Utrecht, Netherlands where I went on a safari through a human-made wilderness to explore the complexities of co-existence and re-wilded ecologies. This experience led to the development of a collaborative children’s workshop series that tackles current environmental issues of urban expansion, habitat loss and species extiction in a positive and creative way. ‘Wild City’ has reached over a thousand children (so far) to explore ideas of urban ecology, and has appeared at the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Knowledge Week, Hyphen Gallery, South Australian Museum – Dream Big Festival, Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Abbotsford Convent, Glen Eira Town Hall Gallery, Monash Univrsity Ian Potter Performing Arts Centre and Artplay amongst others. Find my website here.

My sculptural artworks have appeared at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Federation Square, NGV, White Night, Yarra Plinth Project, National Wool Museum, Sculpture by The Sea, Bendigo Conservatory, Montalto, Albury Library Museum, Utrecht University Museum, and BAK Gallery amongst others. I am currently undertaking a State Library Fellowship.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION ENTRY.

Judy Holding

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

GOLDFIELDS II: This work is the second major piece in my ongoing project of observing a particular area of the Victorian Goldfields mainly around the Barkers Creek area near Castlemaine.

The original beauty of this bush was shattered by the discovery of gold when every last inch was dug up and thousands of years of occupation was eradicated overnight. It is this layering of the landscape that is the challenge in my work; I am chasing an energy through colour and imagery to depict the history and geography of this particular place.

Remnants of original plants and wildlife however hung on, and with much help are making a gradual resurgence. Traditional knowledge is at last being honoured and integrated in the care of the landscape and so I see “Goldfields II “as an optimistic work.

HOW THE WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE:

FOCUS: the repair and regeneration of degraded ecosystems, uniting and empowering communities around common natural assets and aspirations.

THE GOLDFIELDS PROJECT:

My Goldfields Project involves both historical research (National Library of Australia, State Library Victoria and local history museums) and observations from working in the field.

Watercolour on Paper will continue to be the main medium as it is transportable and easy to use out in the bush (i.e., perfect for documentation and the quick gathering of information), but I plan on continuing my small sculptures that are concerned particularly with the Eucalypt.
This is an open ended and ongoing Project.

ARTIST BIO:

Judy Holding is an established multidisciplinary artist with a career spanning nearly 50 years. Exuding immense energy, Holding’s visual vocabulary of symbolic forms conveys her lifelong connection to the landscape of regional Victoria and Murrumburr Country in Kakadu, far north Australia.

Innermost to Holding’s practice is her brazen use of vibrant colour to emphasise the underlying life force of the landscape. As an accomplished watercolourist, Holding has worked to deconstruct the notion of landscape painting across her career to present the Australian environment in its unresolved and ambiguous brilliance.

Holding’s work is included in the collections of major institutions including: the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne; the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; the Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria; the collections of Deakin, Latrobe, Monash and Victoria University, Victoria; Parliament House Collection, Canberra; and, the Library & Archives NT, Northern Territory.

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL ARTIST BIO

Noemie Huttner-Koros

Withdrawn 29 Jan 24

ART PROPOSAL:

The project I am proposing would be a collaborative writing project with a climate scientist, a school striker and myself. Over several weeks, we will create a series of encounters and provocations, both online and in-person that we will record and document. The form and content of these encounters and what emerges will be determined by the participants, and the specific time, space and context of what is going on in our lives and in the world. I also believe that what is important is that it is also the relationships that are the work, and documenting the ways that new intergenerational communities and relationships can arise within the climate crisis. We might cook for each other, share cups of tea, stories and hobbies with one another – alongside research, insights and advice for how to keep going.

I am inspired by collaborative poetry projects that utilise similar tools such as the work of Maggie Nelson, and this series of letters that Bjork and Timothy Morton exchanged: https://www.dazeddigital.com/music/gallery/20196/0/bjork-s-letters-with-timothy-morton.

I have connections with Professor Jatin Kala from Murdoch University and Petra Tschakert from Curtin University, who I could work with for this project, as well as students from School Strike WA or The Tomorrow Movement.

The collaborative writing outcome can also be turned into a recording, or a public reading.

CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

My creative and community work comes from a belief in the social, civic and ecological role of the arts & empowering people to find their own political voice. My solo show Mother of Compost explored queer family-making within the climate crisis. My Master thesis is about ecological & queer dramaturgies in performance-making. My current play Democracy Repair Services is about four young climate activists, self-governance and powerlessness (November 2023, The Blue Room Theatre).

I was an organiser of Brink (first fossil free fringe festival in WA) & a core organiser for Arts & Cultural Workers for Climate Action; organising the arts sector to support School Strike 4 Climate & advocating for a sector-wide transition from fossil fuel funding. I have been organising on climate justice for more than half my life; I am 27 years old and first got involved in climate activism when I was 13. Involvement in climate activism and the climate crisis has been the backdrop to my life and growing up, and a core part of how I create art and collaborate. This has been through organisations such as the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 350.org, Front Line Action on Coal, and empowering other young people to run campaigns in their local communities. I have spoken and written about climate justice & the arts at WA Museum, National Young Writer’s Festival, The Guardian, SeeSaw Magazine & Disclaimer Journal.

In 2019, a group of artists including myself formed Arts & Cultural Workers for Climate Action WA to mobilise the arts sector to join in solidarity with School Strike 4 Climate. I was then a core organiser of the FRINGEWORLD divestment campaign, creating playful disruptions, meeting with festival staff, organising artists to speak publicly and collaborating with activists to pressure Woodside. Prior to this, there was very little conversation happening about fossil fuel divestment in the arts in WA. This led to both major arts festivals in WA (FRINGEWORLD & Perth Festival) to fully or partially divest from fossil fuel funding which was almost unthinkable just four years ago. What I learnt was that collective organising across different industries, backgrounds and perspectives leads to long-term relationships & trust, we have to be willing to start difficult conversations, and to draw on our creativity as artists, to tell the stories of the more just worlds we are building together.

ARTIST BIO

Noemie Huttner-Koros is a performance-maker, writer, dramaturg & community organiser based on Wurundjeri country of the Kulin nation. Noemie’s work engages with sites and histories where queer culture, composting and ecological crisis occur, and has taken place in theatres, galleries, protests, clubs, community gatherings, anthologies and journals. Their shows include: Mother of Compost (M1 Singapore Fringe Festival), The Lion Never Sleeps (Australian Book Review 2019 Arts Highlight) & Democracy Repair Services (The Blue Room Theatre). Noemie was the 2021 WA Young Environmentalist of the Year, 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize winner, the Creative Coordinator of the 2022 KickstART Festival Youth Week WA. Noemie is currently the Graduate Dramaturg at Red Stitch Actors Theatre and is on the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership Global Youth Committee.

Noemie’s application can be seen in full, with performance images here.

Iona Julian-Walters

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

The body of work that I would like to expand upon is one that I have been working on for the past year and is to do with water as an indicative site of changing climate. I have developed this project with a focus on Melbourne, especially it’s hidden waterways such as William’s Creek (which now runs under Elizabeth Street in large pipes), and other watery spaces that have been the first to be hidden by colonisation/urbanisation, but will be the first sites to re-emerge with the rise in water levels (sea level changes and floods are going to mean that these river pathways are re-established).

So far this body of work consists of a sculptural piece, “Present Boat for a Past and Future River” (a boat, affectionately known as “Beryl” I made out of disused timber from building sites, as well as disused chemical barrels from the building industry), a film called “Portage” of this boat being walked down the original path of William’s Creek up Elizabeth Street. A cyanotype clothing piece used in “Portage” called “What I Dare to Hope for When I Hope for a Future” in which I have incorporated found objects that reflect my hope for an ecological future in a ceremonial / spell-like embodied artwork. A series of 11 drawings that explore the spirituality present in nature, but within the context Australia’s damaged landscape. And a projection and larger drawing called “Oil Piece 1” and “Oil Piece 2” which look at the place of oil as a major contributor to specific and broad environmental destruction.

IF SUCCESSFUL, I WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND ON THIS BODY OF WORK IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

Re-make oil piece one (the cormarant drawing) with motor oil as I had originally planned. Unfortunately owing to OHS protocols at RMIT I wasn’t able to do so and have instead created an oil like substance made of petroleum jelly, linseed oil, graphite and charcoal. I would like to re-draw this image with used motor oil as originally planned (any concerns about OHS of course can be discussed with me further!).

I would also like to explore 2 different avenues with “Present Boat for a Past and Future River” to add to this body of work. The first being photographing the boat at different points alongside the “riverbank” calculated based on the rising sea levels (this will mean that they are probably going to be taken within Melbourne’s industrial/residential zone’s). And secondly attempt to sail Beryl on the Yarra River. I put this part of the proposal in tentatively as Beryl is the first boat I have built, and although theoretically seaworthy, this has not been tested yet! If all goes as planned, I would like to try and sail her around the area of “The Warmies” at the mouth of the Yarra in docklands, document this as a secondary film to “Portage” an use this experience to add to the series of drawings in this body of work.

Notes on installation: In terms of installation in any group show I would be open to discussion as it is a large body of work (in fact probably enough for its own show!) but I am happy to show parts of it if successful in this application based on discussion between myself and the curators of the project. “Present Boat for a Past and Future River” can either be exhibited installed on a small bluestone circle on the ground (as seen in the accompanying images to this) or strung up from the ceiling. “Portage” is a video work that can be projected or played on a screen, and “Oil Piece 2” is a projection work that is based on the angle of the projector to the disk of water on top of the oil barrel (it’s a bit finicky to set up but can be done with some patience) as this is a projection piece it needs to be in a dark(er) room. The drawn images I usually hang with tabs and nails straight into the wall.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

As my practice is deeply rooted in the multi-layered and intertwined concerns outlined in this project brief, I will pull out three major aspects of my work and practice that speak to the themes of this project, as specifically relating to the body of work I am proposing here:

1. We are never estranged from the specificity of place. These works are made on Wurundjeri Country, and about Wurundjeri Country. There is no escaping that. When doing work about the environment I think it is crucial to embed it into specific site; we can talk about the environmental crisis all we want but if we don’t embed it within place and the realities of place, our art remains purely ungrounded concept. I think that for non-Indigenous artists (like myself) working in Colonised countries, it is our duty to recognise the specificity of site and its embedded histories and futures and make clear our relation to that). Each of these drawings, sculptural pieces etc. Have a specific relationship to the land they are made on, the drawings evolving from particular times on sites, the installation and projection works about specific sites and histories.

2. Drawing and the art of witness, before we move forward we must see what is at hand. My practice always comes out from and returns to drawing. Drawing for me, is the most profound “relational act” (to quote from my mentor Greg Creek), it allows us to bear witness to the object with which we are engaging, in a more profound way than just observing. By tracing line, and story we come into a bodily and emotional relationship with object. I consider all my work (even installation / photographs) a continuation of this drawing practice. Based on the times we live and the steadily turning cogs of capitalism that rely on the compliance of humanity to the ongoing system, it is my belief that the first project we must undertake is to shine a light on the systems themselves. This is why I have included the oil bird pieces in this project, that highlight the present reality of our world.

3. Art as a mechanism for healing / a vessel for grief / and a pathway forward. At this time of change and instability in our world, it is my belief that it is the role of the artist to guide and show us paths of different ways of being, somewhat as, in the past, prophets and magic workers have done in other times of crisis and change. The creation of these works then goes beyond just reflecting back what is seen, and in creative act itself becomes a kind of magic practice, of healing, ritual, grief and hope. Pieces like “What I Dare to Hope When I Hope For A Future”, the drawing pieces, and even “Portage” to some extent, show pathways of ways forward toward hope / a better future, whilst simultaneously paying tribute to the present that we live in.

ARTIST BIO:

Iona is a visual artist living and working in Naarm / Melbourne, on Wurundjeri Country. She works across mediums of drawing, sculpture, photography, performance and installation, often combining these practices into interwoven bodies of work. Her work is concerned with ecology, body, relationship and place and explores themes such as grief, transience, liminality and ritual. With a particular focus on water and the times that we live, her work has moved more recently toward a consideration of the climate crisis, look at the ways art and creative practice allow us to engage with environmental realties that are often too large and complex to truly comprehend. Bringing together the relational act of drawing, and the ritual history of artmaking, Iona’s work looks to art as a way of embedding dichotomy of our times within creative practice, creating works that are at once a vessel for grief and a portal to hope.

Click here to see my website.

Click here to see my Instagram.

Alice Kenyon

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

The Exhibit concept of Creative Constellations: Atlas of Radical Hope, shares an inspiring quality of using hope as a way to protest for climate, place, and community. It is incredibly powerful to use art and creativity to present alternate visions of what the future could look like if climate, community, and cultural issues were dealt with seriously and without the influence of investors who benefit from these problems. My idea for this exhibit explores the visions of how we can include more ecological spaces within the city, and its surrounding suburbs, which subsequently brings in more community and love to a place.

On almost every corner of a block, there is a space that is fenced off, derelict, and covered with weeds. Someone buys these blocks of land and sits on it while it increases in value to then sell it and make a profit. This creates such a waste of space, while it holds the opportunity to bring people together and to connect with place and nature.

Ceres Garden is one place I see taking this opportunity and has created a space for people to learn, grow, and connect with nature and each other. It includes the Community garden, Honey Lane, and a flourishing education centre, and that’s just to name a few. The Community Garden is a place where community members can learn about urban farming, and grow their own plants, giving people who live in apartments an opportunity to grow their own plants. Honey Lane provides another place for urban farm education, as well as growing food and seedlings for the grocery, cafe, and nursery. The education element of Ceres helps to teach kids and adults the potential nature has to enrich their lives.

Comparing Ceres and the derelict spots of land, I see such a drastic contrast between the efficient use of space in our ever-growing cities. Through my piece, I propose to bring this problem into the spotlight and show how we can let these forgotten spaces be used to their full potential.

How I propose to express this idea in my work is through a multimedia collage. For the base of the collage, I will use a camera, exploring both film and digital, to take photos of these fenced-off and dere- lict blocks. From there I will use one of the photographs printed onto fabric to build upon. I want to use drawings as well as textiles to create a three-dimensional garden on the derelict block to show what is there now but also, what could be. The only new materials I plan on using is the fabric that the photo- graph will be printed onto, the rest will be sourced from my collection, op shops, and other people’s dis- carded materials. I want to emphasis the contrast between these blocks sitting there for years and years as wasted land, and the potential it has to connect people to community and place.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

Materiality is integral to my practice, not only for creativity, but to engage with climate justice. I believe that putting thought into where your materials are from within any practice is just as important as what message is conveyed within one’s work. I mainly like to work with recycled and/ or discarded and dam- aged materials, big and small. Through the years I have received materials from departed grandparents, friends, and family, and scraps found on the RMIT campus, whilst I was studying there. I have also collect- ed discarded and damaged garments from Hunter Gatherer, where I have volunteered for the last three years. I love gathering discarded materials from all sorts of places, as it has led to many inspiring conver- sations about upcycling, which has in turn helped me connect with a community of people with similar values.

Whilst studying at RMIT is where my passion for up-cycling sparked, and was a big part of my final two major projects, Life on Mars or Earth? (Image 1) And Nothing But Flowers (Image 2). Both projects used only recycled and up-cycled materials. Having this ‘limitation’ forced me to explore fabric and colour combinations that I wouldn’t usually use, creating weird yet captivating results. This constraint also got me to explore and combine a range of different techniques which made the work more interesting and dynamic. Connecting with materiality can be used as a way of protest, as well as, making our work more creative and thoughtful.

Narrative and storytelling is another major element within my work, which I use as a way of connecting with climate justice. My project, Life on Mars or Earth? Endeavoured to express my concern to our gov- ernment prioritising propelling human life into space, rather than safeguarding the viability of life on earth. Nothing But Flowers, inspired by the Talking Heads song of the same name, explored the story of flowers overtaking the industrial world. The project focused on Australian natives to bring it into a local context, as well as, an ode to my love of the unique landscape of Australia. Feeding the idea of radical hope of our landscape spreading rather than declining was an important message to convey within this project.

Place and using my practice as a vehicle to connect to place is also a fundamental part of my work. Draw- ing and photography (Image 3) help me to melt into the moment and notice the details and the feelings I get from a certain place. The colours, shapes, light, and shadow, along with the finer details swell inside of me, to capture that feeling that has the utmost satisfaction. Particular places in nature, as for most people, bring me great happiness and calmness. It is important that in my work I not only celebrate these places but also advocate and protect them.

ARTIST BIO:

Working and playing on Wurundjeri land, I define myself as a textile artist where my work is centred around sustainability through upcycling damaged and discarded materials. However, my work also goes beyond just its materiality, through my work, I focus on meaningful messages, storytelling, and an appre- ciation for nature. Inspired by nature, music, and the people I surround myself with, I continue to explore new ideas and new ways to express them.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Textiles (Design) at RMIT University at the end of 2021 and have spent the last year completing an internship with the fashion label, Romance Was Born, as well as working as a screen printer at sustainable fashion brand, Captain Robbo. All of these experiences have inspired my practice by teaching me new and different techniques, all of which I have applied to the up-cycling and repurposing of discarded materials.

Bronisław (Bronek) Kózka

Did not meet criteria

ART PROPOSAL:

New Maps – (working title). Exploring the Tasmanian East Coast, my journey intersects with the paths once charted by historical figures like Abel Tasman and Matthew Flinders. However, my exploration diverges significantly from theirs. Where they mapped the land for navigation and colonial purposes, my focus lies in a deeper, more introspective immersion into the environment. This distinction is crucial in my artistic process, as I seek to engage with the landscape in a way that is reflective and emotionally resonant, rather than utilitarian, though it still has the underlying purpose of a sense of environmental activism. I acknowledge that as a white Australian, I am a guest on this ancient and culturally rich Indigenous land. I pay my respects to the traditional custodians of this land, their enduring connection to it, and to their Elders past, present, and emerging. This acknowledgement is a crucial component of my artistic process.

In this modern era, the advent of GPS and other technologies has transformed the concept of mapping, allowing me as an artist to explore and interpret the landscape in novel ways. Unlike the compasses and maps of early explorers, these tools free me from traditional cartographic limitations, enabling a more nuanced and personal form of exploration. While GPS provides a sense of location and orientation, it’s the emotional and sensory connection to the landscape that truly guides my journey.

My approach to creating images transcends the physical mapping of spaces; it is a deep exploration of the emotional landscapes, the memories, and the spirit embedded in the environment, drawing on the Chinese “shanshui” painting philosophy, essence and spirit of the landscape are captured, rather than just its physical form.

I aim to offer a new perspective, one that emphasises the emotional and spiritual journey & connection to place. Not only a depiction of physical spaces but a representation of my profound connection with nature, a journey that intertwines the tangible with the intangible, mapping both the land and the myriad experiences it evokes.

I am now embarking on a new project to explore the East Coast of Tasmania, drawing inspiration from my previous work around Spiky Beach and Swansea. This is an extension of my journey, continuing to intertwine the tangible landscapes with the intangible experiences they evoke. These locations, with their unique features and natural history, offer a fresh canvas for my exploration. I will capture the interplay of light, texture, and colour, weaving these elements into a narrative that reflects their beauty and complexity.

This new project is more than just an artistic endeavour; it’s a continuation of my quest to understand and convey the deeper connections we have with our world. It’s an opportunity to share by deep connection, my immersive engagement with nature and how it manifests through the lens and to invite others to experience these places in a way that is both intimate and profound.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

In my artistic practice, I engage deeply with the concepts of Climate Justice, place, community, and the interconnectedness of these themes as articulated in the conversations and documents shared.

Climate Justice is a thread that weaves through my work, an acknowledgment of the disproportionate impact of climate change on the most vulnerable communities. It’s an artistic pursuit to give voice to the silent narratives of nature and the marginalized, to challenge the status quo through the power of visual storytelling. My work is not just a passive reflection of reality but an active engagement with the forces shaping our world.

The places I explore and capture through my lens are more than mere backdrops; they are characters in their own right, each with a story to tell about the climate crisis. The rugged cliffs of the Tasmanian East Coast, the serene beaches, and the intricate patterns of the natural world in regions like Spiky Beach and Swansea are all deeply affected by environmental changes. Through my images, I seek to reveal the subtle yet profound ways in which these landscapes are altering, hoping to instigate a dialogue about the urgent need for environmental stewardship.

Community is integral to my work. In capturing landscapes, I am also capturing the essence of the communities that are inextricably linked to these environments. My photographs are conversations about the symbiotic relationship between people and place, highlighting how the fate of one is bound to the other. By exhibiting the beauty and the fragility of these places, I aim to galvanize communities into action, fostering a collective responsibility for our shared home.

The ideas articulated here resonate with the “shanshui” philosophy, which sees humans and nature as part of a greater whole. This perspective drives my creative process, pushing me to create works that are not only aesthetic expressions but also meditations on our place within the natural world. Each piece is an invitation to viewers to consider their own relationship with the environment, to reflect on the impact of their actions, and to find solidarity in the quest for a more just and sustainable future.

In my role as a lecturer in photography, I extend these conversations to my students, encouraging them to see beyond the surface of their subjects. I teach them to use their cameras as tools for change, to craft images that question, that educate, and that inspire. I believe in the power of art to unite people, to bring about social and environmental change, and to give a voice to those who might otherwise go unheard.

As an artist, I am committed to a practice that is not just about making images but about making a difference. My engagement with Climate Justice, place, and community is a pledge to use my art as a beacon of awareness and action. It’s a journey that intertwines the tangible with the intangible, mapping both the land and the myriad experiences it evokes.

HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE USED:

The allocated budget of $1400 would be invested in creating the artwork and organizing an outdoor laneway exhibition in Collingwood, for which the venue has already been arranged. The artworks will be produced on a durable adhesive material suitable for outdoor display, a medium I have previously utilized with confidence in its resilience. Each piece will be approximately 1 meter by 1.7 meters in size and will feature a QR code. These codes are designed to engage the audience directly, guiding them to various platforms where they can take action or gain further knowledge about the issues presented. This direct approach is something I trust will resonate with the public based on my past experiences with events that I’ve contributed to, such as an exhibition produced by RMIT students in collaboration with the ASRC, where QR codes linked viewers to various ASRC initiatives.

Although a detailed breakdown is beyond my current scope, the funds would also cover travel expenses to the East Coast of Tasmania and the costs of printing both for the exhibition and for the actual project prints. These prints would be adjusted to fit within the size limitations of the exhibition space, acknowledging that they might be somewhat smaller than the originally planned dimensions.

ARTIST BIO:

Bronisław (Bronek) Kozka, an artist from Melbourne, delves into environmental themes through his art. His significant work, “Mediated through the Digital Lens,” explores his and our engagement interaction and immersion with nature in an era of digital prevalence and environmental challenges. He utilises i-devices as artistic tools to create layered narratives that reflect nature’s dynamism and our physiological engagement with the landscape. Additionally, Kozka contributes to arts education as a photography lecturer at RMIT University, where he advocates for environmental awareness and engagement, and mentors future artists. His art invites us to look beyond the digital facade and deeply connect with the nature, the environment, our world, emphasizing the importance of a true symbiotic relationship.

Click here for Mountain Water Catalogue.

Jo Lane

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

My ‘listening stones’ work is a metaphor for a community who hear, who hear the land and sea of this area.

Each ‘stone’ is made of gypsum rock and cast from the ear and nape of a community member who stepped up, took hours and hours of time out of their lives, to advocate a ‘no’ stance to a development that would have disastrously impacted on the coastal and marine environment of Westernport.

For this iteration of ‘listening stones’ – to challenge an appalling ‘coal to hydrogen proposal for the Latrobe Valley – I would like them to do a ‘line up’. A line up of people who care and, through their efforts, make a difference to halt degradation,  and the line is increasing ….
This means displaying them in a line, ‘ears’ facing to audience, along a wall or shelf, or placed on the floor, placed far apart at the start then condensing.
(This is dependant on gallery location, layout and facilities).

This requires some adjustment but indicates the stellar efforts of custodians of place, coming together with the distilled message, “do not ruin the environment!!!”

 

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

They are ears of those that heard/hear our local environment and fought and long and detailed effort to save it, which they did, from the AGL liquid gas proposition for Western Port, and continue to advocate for this wonderful area.  Local Mornington Peninsula individuals who rallied in extraordinary ways and continue to rally to protect the place where we, the unique marine life, flora and fauna, live. The community effort was astonishing, and each person, from disparate backgrounds and circumstances came together as they heard the environment needed help. While this is not unique to the Mornington Peninsula, our community is the only one that is ours … our ears to our place.

HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE USED:

The funds will be used to re polish all the ‘stones’ and then buy single shelves (IKEA Lack) – one for each ‘stone’ so they can be wall mounted.   The display configuration of the ‘stones’ will also require 2 people to mount in situ. The funds will pay for the restoration, the shelving, the mounting and the decommissioning.

ARTIST BIO:

Currently living and working on Boonwurrung country, Australia.

Jo uses her practice to explore social and psychological subjects. Working between UK (until covid) and Australia she is a ‘drawer’ first and foremost, using charcoal, graphite, coloured pencils, and any other material that is present-to-hand, honouring the texture, immediacy and honesty of drawing. This practice has increasingly turned to sculpture as a means of expression.

Whilst immersed in fastidious mark-making and material use as metaphor, decision-making is reflexive, responding intuitively to the outside world, the inside world, and the differing depths of sensibility.
British Psychoanalyst, Donald W Winnicott places some artistic motivation in the tension between the desire to hide and the desire to communicate.  Her work erupts from this tension, between the private refuge of existence and the nature of external engagement that is art making.

“I am drawn to the concept that our minds are always in a state of being: experiencing something unseen and unknowable, yet engulfed. We can only be one self, only imagining what it is like to be another. I make imagery to try to describe this universal conundrum. My ‘palette’ includes familiar things and by changing their context, these common things take on new meaning, inviting the viewer to connect.”

‘there is another world, but it is in this one’   Paul Éluard (1939)

Click here to see her website.

Gabrielle Leah New

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL

The work that I am proposing is titled ‘Monsters of Waste’ and deals with a range of Climate and Sustainability issues. It is a multi-fascet project involving the construction of wearable art pieces from waste materials to shine a light on the impacts and uses of these materials and their effects on the environment as resource gluttons, CO2 producers and waste creators. Performance videos of the Monsters have been made in local environs each with its unique message that is both playful, urgent and sad. The Monsters are calling viewers into their worlds with the hope of creating a less wasteful and eco-destructive world.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE, COMMUNITY AND/OR THE IDEAS ARTICULATED HERE:

There can be no climate justice until there is recognition and responsibility. My work calls in, shines light and offers communities, though accessible. fun or beautiful video, performance and installation works, options to strive toward change.

My practice explores current socio-political, psychological and environmental issues and how social media (and media in general) corrupts and distorts our authentic, nature-attuned selves. It draws on myth and archetypes as a way to offer new viewpoints and psychological landscapes.

My art talks to my 3 core principles for health (both planet and people): Clean Air, Clean Water and Clean food/Earth. This is something that I feel so strongly about and practice daily, using a high-quality water filter, growing and buying organic food, buying bulk food for less packaging, Consciously consuming, Driving an electric/Hybrid Car, Living rurally, Having my home filled with air cleaning plants, planting trees, and spending time in nature, reconnecting every day and Eating only plant-based foods. I want to be an example in my personal and creative life to represent my beliefs in my arts practice.

My work often addresses the injustice of the Patriarchal-, neo-liberal, capitalist system (Reclaim the Crone 2023) that we live within which is traumatizing all people, destroying our planet and inflicting horrendous cruelty upon sentient beings and our land. I also work as a therapist which informs my art.

I created the 3 part ‘ Greed Project’ in 2016 exploring the corrupting influence of money and its effects on culture, consumption and the dangers and hollow rewards of capitalism. It examined our endless desires for more, more, more.

My art has an urgency, a desperation, a frustration that change and potential transformation feel so possible and yet just out of reach, as the people running the show are corrupt and abuse their positions often driven by power and greed. Artists, like myself, are working at the grass-roots, inviting audiences to perceive the world differently. To feel, see hear, sense reality through a lens that may ignite movement toward a more sustainable future because if we keep on the current path it is going to bring a lot of pain and loss for all but particularly minorities and the disenfranchised in our communities. My work asks more questions than offers answers or solutions,  The work is designed to stimulate the responsibility and individual courses of action within us.

BIO:
Gabrielle Leah New is an artist who gives a F**K.  To combat her feelings of impotency in the face of the current Climate Emergency she engages in making art, in turn engaging audiences to feel empowered, more hopeful and more connected to our Mother Earth and the terrible abuse she is suffering. She is a multi-arts practitioner with an expanded performance practice, informed by her Butoh, Bodyweather and Improvisation practices and work as a therapist, she creates immersive experiences that question current paradigms, shine light onto difficult issues and opens conversations about healing and transformation. She lives on the colonized lands of the Bunurong Boon-Wurrung people and immerses herself in the nature and beauty of this place, taking inspiration and healing.

Gaby has performed, directed, taught, mentored and exhibited around Australia and Internationally for many years.

https://www.instagram.com/gabrielleleahnew/
Gabrielle Leah New’s website.

 

Jarrad Martyn

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

My work has explored how representations of the landscape from the recent past can be re-framed in the present. These landscapes often come from my family history, places I’ve or my family members have been too. Some of these landscapes, like the Antarctica body of work unpacked how parts of my family history indirectly intersected with world history.

Given the over saturation of information one can often feel in the current epoch, there can be a disconnection between how the impact of one action can affect that of another in a different place or even time. Drawing from the Butterfly Effect, which frames the world as being deeply interconnected, where a minor event can heavily influence a much more complex system. The work I propose for Climarte draws links between how dysfunctional concentrations of money and power can cause increased inequity, possibly leading to the rise of extremism. Which then increases the possible rate at which ecocide and by extension genocide can occur. How actions in the West, or more economically ‘developed’ countries can be detrimental to the other economically ‘developing’ countries.

Using the the principle of bricolage, ‘something constructed from a diverse range of things’ different motifs will be collaged together to create an alternate conversation. These motifs will be from different contexts to explore the relationship between industry and the environment and the general interconnection between the West and places it engages with it for trade. How the actions in one effect those in another in a climate fiction type genre approach.

In their report Insurgency, Terrorism and Organised Crime in a Warming World Berlin thinktank Adelphi details how terrorist groups are increasingly using natural resources, such as water as weapons of war by controlling access to it. As more natural disasters happen due to climate change terrorists will be able to control water and food more, leading to more shortages the report continues.

I’m unsure of the exact motifs I will use for this work but from an conceptually point of view it is important that the links are ambiguous. Allowing the audience to audience to look longer, to deduce links between, and decipher their own conclusions as to what events are unfolding, and the symbolic meanings within. While ethically coming from a point of white privilege it is important that I don’t making sweeping assumptions and make sure the motifs don’t become about race, rather the continued in-actions of the West are put forward as the immediate issue. How these actions mimic past colonial interactions with the landscape where it was treated as a territory.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

When I was younger my father often worked in remote distant places. My engagement with his experiences was mediated through the 35 mm film photographs he took and showed me on his return. He amassed an archive of photographs of unique landscapes of different flora, from dense jungles to barren sparse lands. I was most drawn to the photographs of places that were far removed from my own context, that being the otherworldly images of him working at Casey Station in Antarctica in the summer of 1985. I often wonder how the meaning and places depicted in these photographs have changed over time?

The current focus of my practice is a series of paintings which re imagine experiences from his archive. As I haven’t been to Antarctica or wasn’t alive when my dad worked there, my understanding of his experiences is through a distance, accessed through his photos and stories. I’m interested in Walter Benjamin concept of the aura, the separation between the original image and the time period it is consumed in. Given the scientific consensus on climate change, it is hard not to associate the images with a new meaning and therefore representation of the landscape. As Antarctica has experienced some of the most rapid warming on Earth, and the landscape has significantly changed since the snapshots were taken. Once- stable ice shelves are melting faster, endangered animal habitats are declining, & the human footprint in the region is increasing.

Through a painterly approach to figuration, the figure-ground relationship is used to convey a slippage between time periods of when the images have been viewed. The resulting painting language of dragging, pulling, dripping and splattering of paint creates an atmosphere that appears to be in-flux. This sensation reflects the duality of the photographs, how they are both mementos of a far off alien land while also laced with a sinister quality, as the climate continues to rapidly change. They have the nostalgia of the past but then the awareness of the climate emergency of the present.

Within this project the colour palette is vivid yet also subdued, to suggest a sense of the first engagement with a landscape after a catastrophic event. While motifs also appear hazy, dropping in and out of clarity, like an old film photograph or home video to suggest a sense of the past. The colour palette of the underpainting is often Cadmium Orange because it evokes connotations to the orange used in the high visibility uniforms worn by the construction and mining industry in Australia.The chroma of the Hi Vis uniform is used as a safety marker, a caution to make people more aware. The symbolism of the colour draws links to the relationship between trade and the environment. How western industrial capitalism still adopts a utopian like ‘belief in progress’ mindset to short term capitalist benefits without thinking about the long term impact.

ARTIST BIO:

Jarrad Martyn’s practice uses painting and drawing to explore humanity’s relationship with the natural environment.

Martyns’ work is in a number of public and private collections including the Gippsland Art Collection, City of Yarra, University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, City of Perth, City of Joondalup, Shire of Mundaring, and St John of God Hospital Art Collection. Martyn has been selected as a finalist in numerous national art awards, most significantly winning the John Stringer Art Prize (2018), the City of Joondalup Community Invitation Art Award Overall Acquisitive Award (2017), the Fifty Squared Art Prize (2021) at the Brunswick Street Gallery and the Mayors Award for the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art (2023). His painting from the Schmidt Ocean Institute is being shown as part of the Unesco and Nautilus; Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science event of Art Basel Miami Beach in Dec 2023.

Sarah Metzner

In discussions re possible workshop

ART PROPOSAL:

LIGHT FOR ALL KIN: is an ongoing series of artworks I am currently creating and proposing for Creative Constellations: Atlas Of Radical Hope.

I am proposing 2 possible installations of LIGHT FOR ALL KIN. I am very willing to exhibit either of these options, if selected for this exhibition.

An installation of 4 soft pastel and oil painted artworks on paper installed in a grid formation. 2 artworks on the top row and 2 artworks directly underneath, on the bottom row, with a spacing of approx. 5cm gap between the works horizontally and vertically. These chalk pastel and oil painted artworks will be unframed and will preferably be pinned onto a wall (or alternatively adhered if necessary).

I have submitted images of the artworks I am proposing for this installation. However, if I create preferred artworks for this installation between now and the delivery date of artworks on the 15th January, I would select a preferred yet similar configuration of 4 artworks of the same size. Each artwork on paper measures: H53.5cm x L78.5cm Therefore, the proposed installation of artworks would measure a total of: H112cm x L163cm.
As the size of these installed artworks does not fit into the application’s specified 120cm spatial requirement for an artist’s artwork, my 2nd proposal includes artworks from this series: Light for all Kin. However, this alternative proposal would involve an installation of 2 new artworks created on paper, board or canvas that would be installed one artwork directly above the other. Each artwork would measure H57.5cm x L120cm to meet the H120cm x L120cm spatial requirements stipulated.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

LIGHT FOR ALL KIN is an ongoing series of artworks I am creating that is inspired by the light and energy of places and landscapes where I live and work in Naarm, Melbourne.

With human’s expanding indoor lifestyles and contemporary culture’s obsession and reliance on electricity, artificial light and digital screen cultures – our natural cycadean rhythms are increasingly becoming compromised. This disconnection with nature’s harmonious flow of light and energy is impacting human’s capacity and willingness to appreciate, respect and care for Nature and all its kin.

I am very aware that I was born and live in a country where the sovereignty of the First Nation Peoples has never been ceded. I am descended from Swiss, Danish, English and Irish ancestors who originated from countries and cultures that have contributed to – and benefited from the horrific impacts of colonisation on the First Nation Peoples in this country. Within this history, as a white woman, my experience to place, to this ancient Country is contested and problematic. My privileges are at the expense of so much loss and trauma inflicted upon First Nations Peoples. It is with this ongoing awareness and reckoning, I seek an authentic relationship within my art practice to build connection to place, to the natural environments where I live and work.

Today, one must be extra mindful and vigilant to seek out and stay present with the peaceful and wonderful experiences generated by natural light in our daily lives. I cultivate simple, daily routines that become important rituals that connect me to the natural light and places where I live and work, and generate a sense of belonging, grounding and well-being. Such simple tasks include peacefully experiencing a sunset after a busy day whilst listening to birds’ song and chatter, hanging clothes outside on a sunny windy day, growing herbs and vegetables for cooking, nutrition and healing purposes, planting and nurturing indigenous plants to attract native birds and insects that inevitably contribute to the natural ecosystems in my garden etc.

Light is in an ephemeral energy that is in a constant state of transformation in the present moment, and it is ubiquitous. I uphold a mindful, meditation practice which focuses on being present in my body, with my senses, thoughts and emotions in the places and environments where I exist. Nature and the human body with its sustaining reliance and transformation of oxygen and carbon dioxide are interdependent ecosystems, that provide inspiration and foci for mindful, meditation practices experienced by different cultures across the world. In this series of artworks, I am simultaneously building mindful practices of awareness, by reflecting on the sun’s creation of light, shadow, mood, atmosphere and colour; precious elements that are shared and resonate for all kin.

Throughout, the last 30+ years I have worked collaboratively with communities sharing my love and passion of art, nature and my longstanding interest in healing and well-being practices. The more I connect authentically with my art practice and my own well-being and awareness of the human condition – the more expansively I can contribute in my professional, collaborative work within community.

ARTIST BIO:

I have worked, practised and exhibited as a visual, collaborative and public artist and arts educator for the last 30+ years: exhibiting painting, drawing, installation, textile and sculptural artworks.

My Visual Arts practice focuses on exploring metaphoric and allegorical landscapes and forms that
reflect and investigate human nature’s emotional, social, psychological and spiritual evolution and
transformation; whilst reflecting on our relationships with our natural environments. Simultaneously,
my practice builds awareness of creative methodologies and well-being, whilst reflecting on nature’s
harmonious systems and flow of energy and light.

Since 1994, I have collaborated creatively with First Nations artists and cultural educators and with diverse, marginalised and ethnic communities and the general public, across all age groups. These collaborations have often fostered awareness and nurtured symbiotic relationships with the natural environment, whilst promoting a sense of well-being, and an awareness of creating with sustainable art materials. Find my website here.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION ENTRY.

Gustavo Morales

In discussions re possible workshop

ART PROPOSAL:

Free Climate justice poster workshops. I would like to use this grant to cover my costs for running 2 free climate justice poster/creativity workshops for residents of local Neighbourhood houses (Fitzroy, Carlton or Collingwood) or not for profit organisations like the Centre for Multicultural Youth.

Participants of the workshops will learn valuable creativity, communication and design skills and will produce finished posters that express their voices and feelings around the current climate crisis and intersectional issues.

Rough details (would be adapted as needed by the hosting organisation):

●  10-15 participants per session
●  2 hour sessions
●  All materials included (A2 poster boards and collage materials)
●  Posters resulting from the workshop will be collected by me to prepare digital/print files for further distribution and/or potential exhibitions.

Workshop structure:
●  Introduction
●  Examples of powerful posters (climate crisis)
●  Topic selection and discussion amongst participants
●  Brainstorming techniques
●  Concept generation through play (and live demonstration)
●  Sketching
●  Collage poster making
●  Closing thoughts

Find attached images containing climate/social posters developed in my recent workshops by students aged 6-60.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

Since Uni, back in Mexico in the early 2000’s I’ve been interested in creating posters for social and environmental issues.

From 2009 to 2018 I coordinated the environmental awareness international poster competition Segunda llamada. More than 5,000 posters from 60+ countries were submitted and resulted in several exhibitions around the world.

My personal poster design work has been featured as part of Poster for Tomorrow (several editions 2012-2022), Climarte Poster Project III, and Poster Biennials in different countries.

In recent years I have focused on the practice of teaching poster design workshops. My goal is to teach students of all ages how to generate powerful, thought-provoking posters through creativity exercises based around play.

I’m especially interested in working with students/individuals who normally don’t have access to the climate/social conversations. My hope is to provide tools that empower them to participate in society and amplify their voices and messages.

ARTIST BIO:

I ́m a graphic designer and artist specialised in poster design, illustration, mural and workshops for cultural, educational and social/environmental awareness projects. I have taught poster design and creativity workshops and courses in several countries for 15 years. Since 2016 I have been facilitating workshops for RMIT ́s I belong program for middle year school students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Most recently I ́ve taught social poster design workshops in collaboration with: Centre for Multicultural Youth, Yarra City Council and Yarra Libraries, Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Victoria Street Alive and Horsham Art Gallery.

I’m a firm believer that posters are a powerful tool to spark conversations on important issues, challenge the status quo and make the world a better place.

Click here for Kattattak Studio.

Bridget Nicholson

ART PROPOSAL:

For some time, I have thought about shoe boxes! Caring for this collection of clay shoes has been a task in itself. Every time I have unpacked and repacked the shoes I think of the joy and opportunity embedded in an individual shoebox. My proposal for the sustainability festival exhibition is to ask some of the artists in South Gippsland who had their feet done as part of Touch this earth lightly to make their own shoe box. The boxes themselves would be a uniform size and construction and then each artist will use this as their canvas and cover the box with their own imagery relaxing to their relationship and connection to this environment. The time frame is very short for producing new work so I have spoken to people to check that they could do this before the end of January. I have had positive response. The artists with whom I hope to work are Mandy Gunn, Jenny Peterson, Susan Purdy, Meg Vinney and Susan Hall. I have spoken to some who are keen and able. There may be others who appear along the way. My thought would be to present the boxes maybe 7-10 in total with an audio-visual documentation of the process and outcomes of touch this earth lightly. The audio may or may not be appropriate given the nature of the exhibition space, this can be determined and either included or not. It would be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with people who participated in this project many years ago and for us all to consider how our own positions and ideas may have changed over time and also our means for expressing this.

The Climate Emergency…

The pace of change and the devastating effects of human exploitation of the planet are now being felt on a daily basis with catastrophic consequences. At the core of this lies a disconnection with the natural world and a focus on economic well being to the extent of disregarding and neglecting or negating the interconnection of all systems on the planet. My interest and intent are to quietly but persistently revert to the felt and find ways through collaboration to foreground emotional wellbeing. Through two art projects Hold and Touch this earth lightly I have sought out guidance from indigenous communities. In doing this I have experienced the power and strength of indigenous knowledge and the generosity of indigenous peoples in sharing and openly encouraging everyone to be part of a more wholistic understanding of the human place within the world.

Touch this earth lightly is a project that invited people to allow me to wrap their feet in clay and whilst doing this to explore, through conversation, personal stories of connectIvity between people and the environment. The project started in 2009 in the Hunter Valley in NSW in a small town called Dungog where the proposal to dam the Hunter River was dividing the community. The aim was to provide a safe place for people to explore and share their feelings rather than seeing the dam’s value solely through science and economics, which were the focus within the public realm. The aim was to enable personal feelings to be valued and expressed. The project started as a collectIon of stories from people in the Hunter. As I was wrapping and talking to people the poignancy of the process became apparent and could be elaborated through presentIng the clay shoes in installatIons with soundscapes composed of the voices/stories of participants, and where possible archival visual material. Over a period of ten years, I wrapped and talked to nine hundred and eighty-five people from across Australia. Part of the intent had been to talk to people from all different walks of life; those living in cities, remote, indigenous, migrant, farmers and coal miners, the only criteria was that you had to be over fifteen years of age. Installations too have been geographically widespread but as yet there has not been an installation of the whole collection together.

I have found the process and the time spent with so many people fulfilling and an incredible journey in learning for myself. Feedback has always been compelling people often commenting on how enjoyable the process was and how seldom you get the opportunity to think and talk about what they realised to be very intimate and important core feelings. People, myself included, were touched.

This is not a loud project but one that reaches people who are sometimes shy or not confident in speaking publicly. My task is to respect and honour their stories and their feet and to find ways for them to be heard, felt, and shared.

ARTIST BIO:

I work with organic materials using craft processes to explore connections between the human and non-human world. My most important works have been those which engage with others to delve into core questions of humanity, and our place in the world. The work is intentionally visceral engaging with others through touch and using clay as a medium to awaken the emotional. The impetus for these works has been curiosity and a personal desire to understand my own deep love of land, flora and fauna, landscape; the complex web of life, and somehow feel closer to this. The challenge is to enable others (the audience) to be inspired and able to value their own feelings in this field.

Click here to see my website.

Amanda Page

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

My project I would like funded is titled ‘A Seed has to Completely Destroy Itself for its Own Survival’.

The artwork comprises up to 50 small-scale print works (15cm x 15cm each) installed together to produce a complete larger work, and depicts different types of seed samples deposited in the October 2022 seed deposit (11,000 seeds), from Agriculture Victoria, Australia to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Spitsbergen, Norway, which I documented as part of my residency at the Spitsbergen Artist Center in 15 August – 1 September 2022.

I have photographed the seed samples provided by AgVic, but will potentially need to engage a photographer to re-photograph with greater magnification to get a better high resolution image of each seed for print reproduction. I plan to print the seeds via screen print, digital print, or foil print process to an aluminium foil substrate (also provide by AgVic), as the medium in which the seeds are vacuum packed for long-term storage (up to hundreds of years, according to scientists) in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

While the seeds are stored at -18C degrees in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, originally built 130 metres deep into the side of the mountain and close to the North Pole, to maintain below zero temperature, the surrounding permafrost has now begun to melt, due to global warming and increased temperatures at the North Pole, meaning that the Seed Vault now has to engage electrical refrigeration processes, to keep the seeds at the correct temperature for long-term storage.

The creative concept is about freezing the hundreds and thousands of seeds in time. And conducting site-specific research and art making that references themes in my arts practice of transformation, erosion and decay, death and regeneration, threat and survival of the species (seed and human), as Australia is dependent on having access to the seeds as a backup food source in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in the event our existing food sources are destroyed due to flood, famine, war or fire in our own country.

My production approach and research interests include:
– Conduct residency, site visit and site-specific research around the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to document the AgVic seed deposit in October 2022 (complete)
– Conduct research that references cultural heritage, natural history and environmental site use (complete)
– Develop artwork concept drawings (in progress)
– Photograph seed samples (in progress)
– Source substrate materials from Agriculture Victoria (in progress)
– Cost print production process with printer
– Complete production of artwork with printer
– Exhibition installation of artwork

RESEARCH ON THE WORK

“For some four billion years life and death have been working together, each finding its own level in relation to the other, and together sustaining a family of life on Earth, a family that is always changing, always finding connections, generating fit, seeking an always shifting balance in an Earth system that is itself far from equilibrium. We humans emerged in dynamic relationships with animals and plants; with them we share our dependence on water and air, and we share basic energy and basic substance: blood, and its plant counterpart chlorophyll.” Excerpt from Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction, Bird Rose.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

In recording changes of state in material and process, I make works about change as a universal condition that connects all matter. Works develop from observing atmospheric activity in natural systems, such as temperature + weather, erosion + decay, metamorphosis + regeneration, alchemy + phenomena. The cycles of life and death, and the coalescing and dissipation of natural systems are investigated.

I use camera-less exposure processes combined with drawing, printmaking, photography, video and sculptural methods to articulate processes of transformation.

In 2023 I held a solo exhibition titled ‘Transition’ at Burrinja Art Gallery. One of the major works in this exhibition, titled ‘Ice is a Metaphor for Change’, a series of 18 sheets of hand-printed cyanotype onto cotton paper, depicts site-specific documentation of melting icebergs in Antarctica, that no longer exist.

To produce this artwork, I photographed icebergs around the Antarctic Peninsula adrift from the land ice mass, an homage to Iceberg A-68 (6000 sq km) which calved rom Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf in 2017, by 2021 no significant fragments remained.
While the work references changes in climate and disappearing ice at the Poles, it also references broader themes in my work of the cycles of life and death.

In 2022, I completed an artist residency at Spitsbergen Artist Center, Svalbard, Norway about documenting a seed deposit from Agriculture Victoria to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

One of the works I completed as part of this residency is a video, titled ‘Glacial Activity’ that documents the glacial activity of three of Svalbard’s glaciers, and the change in physical characteristics of the ice and structure of these glaciers due to global warming and accelerated temperature rises at the North and South Poles, a location most impacted by climate change as a polar region, where ice melt and global temperature rises are significantly higher than the rest of the planet at an approximate rate of 1.7%.

I continue to work on several other artworks related to this residency.

In 2020, I completed an artist residency at Arteles Creative Center, Hameenkyro, Finland where I recorded changes in weather patterns to produce several artworks about climate change, including a cyanotype work, titled ‘Snow Showers’ which documents the unusually low snowfall in Finland’s 2020 Summer, and a video work, titled ‘Detritousta’ about the frozen fragments in the nearby frozen Lake Pariljarvi.

ARTIST BIO:

Amanda Page is an Australian artist working with transformation.

Page has exhibited nationally and has been selected as a finalist in major national print and sculpture awards, including; the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award (2023), the Burnie Print Prize (2021), InkMasters Print Exhibition (2021), the Woollahra Small Sculpture Exhibition Award (2020), the Yarra Valley Arts/Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition Award (2018/2019).

Page completed a Master of Fine Art (RMIT) in 2017. Her work is held in private collections nationally, including the Museum of Brisbane and the Centre for Australian Art, Australian Prints and Printmaking at the National Gallery of Australia as part of Impress Printmakers’ Regenerate exhibition.

Click here to see my website.

Melissa Paine

ARTIST BIO:

Mel Paine is an artist, pastoral care worker, creative writer and motivator. She has her own business creating illustrations, landscape, portraiture and abstract art.

Mel teaches children and adults painting and motivates them to find their own self and style. She also does talks and demonstrations at conferences about creating light and movement in painting.

Having studied performing arts at an early age, she was able to learn about human behaviour, developing people skills. Mel is a wonderful communicator. She has studied voice and various vocal techniques to a high level. Mel has sung solo in many choirs, including one in Bulgaria. For many years she was a singer-songwriter gigging in Sydney, Melbourne and Amsterdam. Mel has always drawn or painted which she learnt by doing from her father, an architect and landscape artist.

Mel was fascinated by the human psyche and landed a job in her twenties to mentor homeless kids in Bondi, Sydney, who had fled to the inner city. There, she learnt her trade as a youth worker and has various certificates in mental health. Although she has certificates in psychiatry her learning in a practical realm with the children, youth and adults has been more beneficial to her.

Mel has travelled extensively to South America, America, Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. She lived in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for thirteen years pursuing a career as a youth worker and art therapist in homeless, psychiatric and asylum settings for youth and adults. Mel is fluent in Dutch.

Mel is a strong advocate for human rights. She advocates for the vulnerable whether that be Indigenous people, asylum seekers, the disabled, the elderly, LGBTQI+ community, marginalised youth. The list goes on. Also, she enjoys working out at the gym, meditates, loves gardening, animals and nature and believes in positivity. Mel has helped in the local community via school council. During lockdown she was a member of Help 3095 and Surrounds. Her interests lie in connecting residents and communities together. She tutors art to kids and adults, including those with special needs. She completed an Artist in Residence Grant she received from the Nillumbik Shire with 9 young artist and exhibited their works at Wadambuk St. Andrew’s in 2022. Mel is a member of the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee of the Nillumbik Shire Council. She was a finalist in 2022 of the Maritime Art Prize, Mission to Seafarers, Melbourne. This year she will be completing a community tactile art project, her landscape painting, art tutoring, art talks and a study placement clinical pastoral care work at the Austin which is completed in June 2023. Currently, she works at Calvary Bethlehem Hospital as a chaplain/spiritual carer on St. Teresa’s ward in palliative and motor neuron disease.

Her future dream is to further her landscape painting career and start up a centre for art, music, writing and drama for youth called SING: Serendipity Is Now Given and to be a positive change maker in spiritual care work, art, writing and beyond.

CV can be found here.

Tashi Singleton

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

I plan on painting an acrylic canvas that brings the viewer’s attention to the damage that the coal industry causes to communities outside of their own. More specifically, as the majority suffers, I wish to bring a voice to those like myself, who are enduring the direct impacts of the climate crisis.

This piece voices my frustrations and that of others who are currently suffering the impacts of the climate crisis, all at the hand of another. Without a direct connection to those partaking in the coal industry and the destruction of our land, my frustration grows daily. Myself and my community can’t afford the luxury of expendable electricity to cope with temperature rises, and for the majority of summer, I have to sacrifice savings for a comfortable living. While we go dumpster diving at ALDI’s to salvage wasted food to save some money, the other half are fine dining in air conditioned houses. Because of one community’s exploitative conduct, my generation and I will not only miss out on seeing healthy reefs, fish in our oceans and forests abundant with biodiversity, but clean drinking water, food security, safe shelter and the ability to simply exist in a liveable climate. Despite this, I am currently one of the fortunate ones – with my ability to apply to Creative Constellations: Atlas of Radical Hope, I aspire to connect with those who share similar feelings of frustration and helplessness towards the certainty of our futures.

The piece will be painted on a canvas I found on the side of the road in my neighbourhood. I believe it was discarded due to a small rip in the fabric; of course I saw the potential. Rather than letting it go to waste, I knew I could paint over it and bring it back to life – giving it a second chance. I feel like this creates a story behind my piece, and an underlying fascinating feeling of the canvas. More importantly, once painted over, the rip will look like the wall paper is actually tearing off. By breaking the fourth wall, it’s reinforcing the idea that this is not just a piece of art, the climate crisis is real and happening right now.

HOW MY WORK ENGAGES WITH CLIMATE JUSTICE, PLACE AND COMMUNITY:

The spread on the table represents the divide between the wealthy upper class, and middle and lower class communities – signified by the plate of coal in the middle, and a candle burning behind it. As the coal industry enables one group of people to profit from stolen land, capitalism provides them with clean drinking water and a diverse selection of food. Whereas on the other side of the table, the majority suffer – left with nothing on their plate, apart from an outstanding glass of undrinkable water. As the burning of fossil fuels directly impacts environment health and climate change – there is a ripple effect; disrupted ecosystems affect soil health and biodiversity levels, therefore resulting in a lack of food security and safe drinking water. However, through wealth hoarding, these people are able to avoid these ramifications that they perpetrate – by purchasing a variety of produce from across the globe. Despite these finite resources only being available to those who can afford it, they consequently come at a higher cost. As fossil fuels are required to transport this produce far and wide – pollution is spread into the ocean and air, and greenhouse gas emissions enter the atmosphere, creating further damage. Additionally, the fish on the plate represent the direct loss of marine species caused by both water pollution and rising water temperatures – highlighting the sheer greed of temporary pleasures, a quick satisfaction that limits the opportunities for younger generations like mine.

The concentration of money in a group enables excessive resource consumption – as the lamp shines, the fan blows and the television runs, the window is shut and curtains are drawn. This represents the blissful ignorance of people in positions of wealth and power, by shutting out the outside world, they are not reminded of the countless signs of climate change and environmental suffering – whilst enabling their continued use of coal powered electricity. This disconnect removes accountability for one’s actions in contributing to Climate Change. By not connecting with communities who directly experience the effects of climate change, they can remain simply unaware – and most importantly, comfortable in their home, with no urgency to create change.

This lack of consideration for other communities who are struggling to afford such resources is harmful. It almost presents a loophole, where wealth provides the access to electricity and secure shelter in ‘less affected’ areas. This then provides the ability to minimize the personal effect of temperature changes and extreme weather events with air conditioners, fans and heaters etc. This consumption in turn increases the demand for electricity production, resulting in more coal production, pollution and furthered damage to the environment.

While hundreds of millions of people are experiencing flooding due to rising water levels, food shortages due to decreased agricultural production and a lack of clean drinking water, they are being forced to migrate. The fallen chair at the dinner table represents the communities who have no other option than to flee their homes in search of safety and security. Furthermore, the other chair remains standing despite the rising water levels – reinstating the comfortability that wealth hoarding provides to some. The ability to afford expensive food and water, transportation, new shelter/accommodation means that they buy themselves more time before climate change becomes life threatening.

This greed and corruption of one community for personal gain results in the various levels of suffering for my community and I, and other communities alike.
However, the false sense of security that wealth provides does not last forever. As demonstrated in my painting, the house has flooded. The rising water slowly destroys the owner’s possessions, emphasizing the immense waste of resources and money that occur as a result of dysfunctional concentrations of wealth, while also reflecting the

insignificance of materialistic items in comparison to basic human needs; clean air, water, food security and shelter. Irrespective of status or power, the effects of climate change knows no bounds and will eventually affect those in positions of power, hopefully enough to cause a change… a change similar to that of my community, and of fellow communities closer to the frontline of the Climate Emergency.

ARTIST BIO:

I am a Melbourne based artist who currently works part-time at a café, but uses my free time to paint canvases, draw fine line designs, give freelance tattoos, create clay pieces and design Lino printed shirts. I like to combine my imagination of visions and messages from the universe to create impactful acrylic pieces. Every canvas channels messages of reflection and healing; aiming to bring to the abundance of love and creativity in ourselves and our natural world. I am Brisbane born and raised, however after experiencing some healing and growth, at 21, I moved into my car and travelled the East Coast of Australia for a couple months. I landed in Melbourne almost a year ago, and found my people – I haven’t looked back since.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION ENTRY.

Carmel Wallace SUBMISSION 1

Grant recipient

ARTIST STATEMENT:

1… INSCRIPTION: path. 2021 ongoing.
Canvas with layered environmental markings. 100m x 36cm.

2… INSCRIPTION: film. 2021 Collaboration with cinematographer Peter Corbett INSCRIPTION short film 5:20

3… INSCRIPTION: exhibition Into the Woods WAG 2022.

INSCRIPTION includes a short film made in collaboration with cinematographer Peter Corbett, featuring a forest regenerating after fire with forestry symbols as markers of current occupation and management. [This film recently received a 2023 Australian Cinematographer’s Society Award for ‘Art, Innovation & Specialised Cinematography’.] A one-hundred-metres-long canvas ‘path’ is used not only as a symbol of incursion but also to provide a pathway to contemplation of both micro and macro aspects of various local environments. As with my earlier WALK project based on the Great South West Walk, it encourages reflection on the fragile state of habitat and its increasing vulnerability. Each time the Inscription Path is unrolled and walked upon, markings, memories, and stories of a particular place are embedded in it, enriching the previous layers and forming a palimpsest.

INSCRIPTION is an ongoing project focusing largely on the Cobboboonee Forest and National Park, but also including other precious environments in southwest Victoria. For example in November 2021 I unrolled it alongside a crater-lake as part of a wonderful community event En Plein Air at Tower Hill, presented by Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative and Warrnambool Art Gallery. It resulted in great conversations about the nature and relationship between art and environment, with people of all ages stopping to ask questions of my chosen en plein air technique, and some participating in the process of dipping my large ‘Badger Brush’ (it’s brand-name!) into the crater-lake and literally adding a lake-layer to the Inscription Path palimpsest as they moved along it, dragging the brush as they went. Bending down to do this and/or to look more closely at the canvas, most noted not only the distinctive-coloured lake water with it’s suspended clay particles but also the plants growing nearby and the disturbing presence of weeds invading this wildlife reserve. Hopefully they were inspired to think more about this environment and be open to taking a more active role in caring for it.

Both Inscription Film and the Inscription Path were presented as part of my solo exhibition Into the Woods at Warrnambool Art Gallery in 2022. Ideally I’d like these works to be presented elsewhere in a similar way with the canvas path hung in the form of a heartbeat-monitor-reading in further acknowledgment of the essential role of forests and natural environments for personal, community and climate health. [Inscription Path can be unrolled to variable lengths and hung in this way according to space available.]

The southwest is an area of extraordinary beauty and diversity, rich in wildlife and native vegetation. INSCRIPTION is an invitation to discover what new meanings we are making of this place – to figure our relationship to the land and understand how the connections between inhabitant and eco-system may be meaningfully re-established.

Funding would support and expand this project by allowing me to take it to other vulnerable environments to share it both in situ and later on display along with photographs and stories collected as further documentation. My aim is to inspire and encourage engagement and action to protect our increasingly vulnerable natural world in this time of climate crisis.

ARTIST BIO

Embracing sculpture, installation and printmaking, Portland based artist Carmel Wallace explores the roles art can play in strengthening connections to place and developing environmental awareness. She holds a PhD in this field from Deakin University. Multi-disciplinary in approach, she often undertakes collaborative projects engaging the wider community and employs a variety of media, much of it recycled. A finalist in major prizes including the Blake, Wynne, and Woollaraha Small Sculpture Prizes, she won the 2019 Yering Station Sculpture Award and was a commissioned artist for the 2022 Lorne Sculpture Biennale. Carmel’s prints were selected for the Baldessin 20th Anniversary Studio exhibition at Australian Galleries in Melbourne. A suite of her prints were also included last year in The Beauty of Early Life, a major exhibition at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, examining life from its emergence to the brink of extinction in this time of global climate and biodiversity crisis.

Click here for my website.

Carmel Wallace SUBMISSION 2

ARTIST STATEMENT:

My RED SEA series which includes the works presented here (Red Sea 1, 2007; Totemic Anemonies 2007-2023; An Octopus’s Garden #3 2009, and Cluster 2019) is one of a number of ongoing series developing in parallel over a long period of time as I pursue the roles art can play in strengthening connections to place and developing environmental awareness.

Begun in 2005, RED SEA focuses on the coastal environment of my home territory in southwest Victoria. I love to walk the wild beaches of Discovery Bay, edging the Southern Ocean, looking towards Antarctica. All the RED SEA works here are made of plastics washed up on these beaches and subjected to the currents and prevailing weather of this ocean. Much of this debris has been circulating in the ocean for some time before reaching the shore, perhaps escaping from a gyre or floating garbage patch or moving with the currents from further down the coast. Patinas and encrustations are evidence of time in the sea and the journey to shore. Each work is made of a particular collection I’ve amassed over many years of walking this sensational coastline. Much of it is fishing gear broken free, or cut loose, and washed up on these beaches. All the Red and Black pieces in the Red Sea works are created from either cray-pot throats and collars or as in the case of Cluster 1, bait baskets. I’ve collected hundreds of both over almost two decades.

An Octopus’s Garden contains 322 assorted plastic objects and pieces of various sizes and origins. I have tried to identify each piece and have listed them on an inventory included here. I am continually surprised by what I find as are viewers of this work. The bright colours are cheerful and carnival-like, but closer inspection raises questions re the source of the objects themselves and the ramifications for the oceans that contain them. I remember being horrified by a photo in a National Geographic of a dead Shearwater on the beach with its stomach contents laid out beside it. So many pieces of bightly-coloured plastic and three whole cigarette lighters! Having no room left for food, this shearwater like many other sea and shore birds, had starved to death. Heart-breaking. Abuse of the ocean and it’s life-forms doesn’t stop there.

MY Red Sea series of works address concerns associated with the fishing industry and our use of resources generally. Oceans and their ecosystems are vital in maintaining a stable climate but their degradation is dangerously out of sight and mind. With estimates of up to ninety percent of wild stocks being over-fished or fully exploited, the empty baskets of Cluster come together in the work, cell-like, virus-like, an elegiac reference to our depleted planet. In COVID lockdown times, as the idea of dangerous clusters pervaded and our longing for human gatherings gained momentum, social containment and limited access to resources seemed to have fostered some reappraisal of needs and lifestyles. Now off the Portland coast another threat to ocean-life is rearing its ugly head. Seismic testing for gas over an area of 45 square kilometres, including two Commonwealth marine parks, is proposed, threatening marine life from tiny krill to migrating giant whales that ply this area. The empty baskets of Cluster may speak louder still.

Jena Zelezny

Grant recipient

ART PROPOSAL:

The works I am submitting for this project are titled:
Goldilocks (1.1 x .6m)
Rhino Fun Park (1.1 x .6m)
The Trees of Man (1.1 x .6m)

By using a range of popular imagery in children’s stories (for instance, Goldilocks and The Three Bears), and book titles/films (for instance The Tree of Life and Patrick White’s The Tree of Man) I hope to make an ironic and subversive comment on hierarchical nature and accepted views about the status of humanity currently. At this stage I have almost completed three pieces in this series. They are, as yet, unfinished. Next year’s will generate more in this series as I research complementary themes from popular notions, books and films. I am researching the seismic blasting methodology used by mining companies in Australia to extract gas from under the ocean.

The work is necessarily figurative and the technique used is traditional i.e., oil on canvas.

My work last year was an homage to René Magritte’s popular painting Son of Man which I adopted and transformed into a comment on war and the use of nuclear weapons.

ARTIST BIO:

I am currently working on works that refer to the loss of wild animal habitats throughout the world – losses that occur due to the impact of the human animal, particularly human entitlements, exceptionalism, war and human expansion.

I have qualifications in visual communication – graphic design, a PhD in English (Theatre Studies) and have worked in design, wildlife illustration, community arts and theatre.

My PhD thesis treated sexuality in the early work of Bertolt Brecht using three plays to align Brecht’s techniques with the post-structuralist philosophy of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler.

Since completing the PhD in 2011 I have devoted all of my time to painting.

 


A collaboration between CLIMARTE and the Cultural Gardeners, this project is funded by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.