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The Paper Canary, The Derwent Project, and the Hanging Garden

30-04-2015 - 24-05-2015

30 April – 24 May 2015
MARS Gallery
7 James Street, Windsor, VIC 3181
Tuesday– Sunday 10am-5pm
Tel. (03) 9521 7517

Natural resources and the systems that shape them sustain and maintain our economies and lifestyles. But these systems: eco, human, global and natural are intrinsically linked with industrial production. The paradox of this position is that an economic rational has been applied to how we think about and experience the environment around us. In this position we are encouraged to consider growth, exponential fiscal growth, at any cost. The other cost of these relationships is the by-products or effects of these systems; pollution, changing temperatures, denuded landscapes, increased salinity and sea levels to name but a few.

Megan Keating’s The Paper Canary explores how the ‘ big business’ of natural resource industries affect the environment they rely upon.  This circular argument of contradiction blurs the boundaries between human, animal, natural and artificial systems, where all systems and production lines form an endless repetition of malleable resource, manufactured product and undesirable by-product.

The Derwent Project is a collaboration between artists David Stephenson and Martin Walch, working with Hydro Tasmania and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; it visualises in new ways the natural and cultural history of Tasmania’s Derwent River watershed. The Derwent is a technologically altered water system of beauty and fascination that encompasses a remarkable range of environments; it arises within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and passes through ten hydroelectric developments before meeting the sea at Hobart. The entire watershed is fractal in structure and complex: it is rich in natural and cultural history, with in situ artefacts that provide information from the Aboriginal period back to more than 30,000 years ago, and from colonial settlement up to 200 years, along with structures in the environment such as dams, power stations, suburbs, and factories that provide information about the industrial period up to the present. The aim of the Derwent project is to create new aesthetic models for representing such a multilayered landscape over time, conveying its rich layering of information and ongoing environmental changes with clarity and impact.

The work Hanging Garden,  refers, through a cheeky phrase, to our collective responsibility to look after our planet. A playful irony is employed by these downward heading vines saying, “grow up”!

Intentionally ambiguous and provocative, this work by Joanne Mott intends to challenge the viewer to reflect on its possible meanings. Who is intended for? Is this a message from nature, giving us stern words, like a scolding mother?

Perhaps it is a direct call to climate change sceptics- to recognise human’s role as participants in environmental change?

Or it could be a message for our current federal government, which continues to ignore the importance of environmental protection and sustainability?

Hanging Garden may appear in the spirit of protest – this work is located on a wall, like much graffiti; a guerrilla message in urban space?



Getting there:
Train Stop: Windsor Railway Station
Bike route: Yes!
ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2015 Map reference: 24




MARS Gallery
7 James Street
Windsor, 3181 Australia
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