We’re not getting out of here alive OR The Land Show

We're not getting out of here alive flyer.

We’re not getting out of here alive flyer.

A group exhibition held at the Blue Oyster Art Gallery, Dunedin (Nov-Dec 2012) with two titles ‘We’re not getting out of here alive,’ or, ‘The Land Show.’

Again- these artists and their artworks confront us on the effects we have on this Earth.

Artists included: Max Bellamy, Kate Belton, Mark Bolland, Sophie Jerram, Mizuho Nishioka, Karim Sahai, Johnathon Titheridge, Sebastian Warne, Jane Zusters curated by Jamie Hanton.

The exhibition draws on Timothy Morton’s contention in Ecology without Nature that:

“Nobody likes it when you mention the unconscious…because when you mention it, it becomes conscious. In the same way, when you mention the environment, you bring it into the foreground. In other words, it stops being the environment. It stops being That Thing Over There that surrounds and sustains us. When you think about where your waste goes, your world starts to shrink.” (Ecology without Nature, Harvard University Press, 2006, p.1)

By highlighting the drastic and irreversible actions others have taken in their attempts to claim a proprietary or capitalistic dominion over the land we are left to contemplate what might be done in response.

(Read more here, see more pictures here)

ARTISTS as ACTIVISTS: Fighting for our environment

Sam Mahon - “Escape”

Sam Mahon – “Escape”

This was an exhibition (late 2010) that I stumbled across while surfing the net, and thought was really interesting. It also fits in perfectly with the topic of this blog.

The exhibition consisted of paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture by some of New Zealand’s leading artists, all of whom use their art to express their passion for our environment and sometimes to protest against its desecration.

It included works by Michael Smither, Don Binney, Nick Dryden, Grahame Sydney, Sam Mahon, Ian Hamlin, Dean Buchanan, Jane Zusters and members of the Academy. With poems by Brian Turner.

“As far as I know, this is the first time the work of so many of New Zealand’s leading artists has been brought together around the theme of environmental activism, protest and political ideas.” -curator Ian Hamlin

The idea of artist as protester is nothing new and the artist’s readiness to communicate the unspoken, to think beyond his or her own experience, to attempt to push the audience out of its comfort zone, and speak for those who do not dare, has created some of the most powerful artworks in the world. Here in New Zealand, artists are seldom far away from controversial issues and in recent times, the environment has been a particular driver for protest.

(read more here)