Ocean Imaginaries: RMIT Gallery, Melbourne

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Ocean Imaginaries focuses on some of the contradictions and conflicted feelings raised by how the ocean is imagined in an age of environmental risk.

05 May 2017-01 July 2017
RMIT Gallery, City campus, Melbourne, Australia

Curator Linda Williams.

Artists: Anne Bevan, Emma Critchley and John Roach, Alejandro Durán, Simon Finn, Stephen Haley, Lynne Roberts-Goodwin, Chris Jordan, Sam Leach, Janet Laurence, Mariele Neudecker, Joel Rea, Dominic Redfern, Debbie Symons, Jason deCaires Taylor, teamLAB, Guido van der Werve, Chris Wainwright, Lynette Wallworth and Josh Wodak.

Responding to a recent turn to the ocean in the environmental humanities, this international exhibition considers how reflections on the ocean are aesthetically reconfigured when viewed from a contemporary urban perspective. Though artists have always responded to the nonhuman world, it is really only in the past three decades that environmental critique has become a major theme of contemporary art. Most environmental art of the late 20th century focused on more terrestrial ecologies while the ‘oceanic turn’ in the arts and humanities occurred more recently with the acknowledgment of the ocean as our ‘evolutionary home’ and the ancient site where biological life first emerged. From the early modern era of global maritime expansion in the late 16th century, the ocean has been valued as a conduit for colonial expansion and trade in raw materials and consumer goods, most of which continue to be shipped across the world today. During this period the ocean was also used for its apparent capacity to absorb waste: from the industrialised waste of heavy metals to radioactive material and plastics. Effectively, the most insidious forms of oceanic pollution remain invisible to the human eye, while the serious effects of ocean acidification, mercury poisoning or pollution by micro-plastics, along with the gradual effects of ocean warming, are slowly, but surely, afflicting every ocean on earth. The sea has long appealed to the romantic imagination as a compelling metaphor for the sacred mysteries of nature, yet given the escalation of global modernity this romantic view now incorporates a countervailing imagery in which the slow violence of ocean pollution not only represents a risk to human interests but also to a diverse range of marine creatures threatened with extinction. While the wild, pristine imagery of the ocean still persists in contemporary culture it is now conflicted by an imagery of pollution, destruction and loss. Increasingly, the oceans represent a channel for greater engagement in the urgent need to protect environmental resilience and biodiversity. These divergent views suggest powerful imaginative contradictions that Ocean Imaginaries explores through artworks evincing responses to global oceans in our era.

Ocean Imaginaries is an exhibition that addresses research undertaken by the AEGIS Research Network led by Associate Professor Williams in the School of Art. She remarked that the high level of professionalism at the RMIT Gallery means that it is an ideal partner for bringing international research collaborations in the field of art and ecology into the cultural life of Melbourne.

Art + Climate = Change 2017

Part of CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 – a festival of exhibitions and events harnessing the creative power of the Arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.

Present Tense exhibition opens

EmmaCritchley_THEY_Film.jpgAn exhibition of works that explore disrupted space: cultural, political, emotional and physical, selected from Phoenix Brighton studio artists.

This exhibition, located in a site of multiple artists practices and drawn from them, considers how ideas can transcend a physical space, yet are grounded through different forms of making and display.  It brings into play an exploration of cultural and political space, opening up discussions around how individual lives and histories inform and shape the articulation of a practice. The exhibition offers a slice in time, a moment of shared connections and isolated thoughts. It encompasses drawings ; on paper and on the wall; discreet surveillance manifesting as photographs and kinetic video; sculpture and paintings that speak to absence and presence, actions and affirmation.

Present Tense is curated by Lucy Day.
Artists: Jon Carritt & Dan Palmer, Rachel Cohen, Emma Critchley, Jane Fox, Caitlin Heffernan, Oliver Hein, Fergus Heron, Bernard G Mills, Paul Morley, Patrick O’ Donnell, Wendy Pye, Ruth Rix, and Kiki Stickl

Phoenix Brighton
10–14 Waterloo Place
Brighton BN2 9NB

6 May – 4 June 2017
Open Wed – Sun 11 am – 5 pm

STRATA: art and science collaborations in the Anthropocene

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SYMPOSIUM AT ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY, ARTS CENTRE FRIDAY 15th JANUARY 2016

CP Snow’s Rede lecture of 1959 (‘The Two Cultures’) considered the humanities and sciences to be two separate strata. Arguably, a large degree of separation has remained ever since. Yet with the subsequent rise in awareness of the need to manage human impacts on the Earth, there have been calls for more integrated, holistic modes of thinking that involve greater engagement between multiple strata in academia and wider society. Such calls have been brought into sharp focus by debate over the Anthropocene, a proposed new geological time interval that suggests that humans are now the dominant influence shaping the Earth system. Are human activities such as agriculture, mining and urbanisation leaving distinctive ‘footprints’ in the Earth’s strata that will endure into the future and so enter the long-term geological record? What are the practical, cultural, ethical and moral implications of such a proposal?

To examine these and other questions, Strata brings together practitioners who work collaboratively across the arts and sciences (both broadly defined) in addressing the concept of the Anthropocene. The symposium’s principal remit is to consider the ways in which art and science collaborations are responding to the Anthropocene debate by representing the past, present and future impacts of human activity on the Earth system.


The symposium is concurrent with the exhibition ‘Stranded’ by Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey at the Arts Centre, and is a collaboration between the School of Art (SoA) and the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES), organised by Julian Ruddock (SoA) and Stephen Tooth (DGES). Support is provided by the British Society for Geomorphology’s ‘Visualising Geomorphology’ Working Group.

 

Speakers include:

Julian Ruddock, Stephen Tooth, Dan Harvey (of Ackroyd and Harvey), Emma Critchley, Alan Beattie, Liz Orton, Anna Falcini, Hannah Sofaer, Deniz Baker

See website for more details

Installation Photos from UK/RAINE exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery

The Firtash Foundation and Saatchi Gallery present UK/RAINE, an exhibition of emerging artists from the UK and Ukraine as part of the Days of Ukraine in the UK festival. 24th November 2015 – 3rd January 2016