Studies in a Dying Culture
COLLAGE // x3 images
- Trendy clothing store interior- Brunswick St Melbourne
- Window reflection inside Heide Museum of Modern Art
- Books: Pilgrims Progress (John Bunyan, 1678) Studies in a Dying Culture (Christopher Caudwell, 1938)
A contrast in time & cultural values.
Contemporary art is often lavished with branding and used for advertising particular products. We are a consumer driven society where art sells. The Heide Museum (opened 1934) was once a home for artists, writers and intellectuals to discuss and create modern art & literature. The two book titles outline that shift in culture where art was once only considered appropriate for galleries and museums. Today art is displayed and showcased almost everywhere; alleyways in the street, clothes store interiors for aesthetics, advertising, the list goes on. Studies in a Dying Culture contrasts our values and use of modern day art with older times.
The set of three sculptures portrays the effects on coral due to anthropogenic changes. Using handmade marbled oilpaper, the slick texture and patterns have a similar resemblance and represent oil spills in the ocean. I have used the official Browse LNG Precinct Strategic Assessment Report as a material that forms one of the other coral structures. This states that the government ultimately has the power to decide the fate of these ecosystems. The small white structure represents coral bleaching, its stunted figure and visible coral polyps emphasise its vulnerability.
The gold beaded roots draping from the coral symbolise that our values are attributed to what lies under the Earth, rather than the living organisms above it. Our values are projected towards profit and monetary wealth- black gold; where really they could be projected towards preserving the natural environment for many generations to come.
Initially inspired by the controversial issue of oil and gas drilling in James Price Point; home to one of the most significant natural and cultural landscapes in Australia, its shorelines teeming with diverse marine life and an astonishing array of coral reefs.This piece has since evolved to encompass all Australian coral reefs under threat. It seems unfathomable to me that governments and oil and gas companies are willing to sacrifice natural beauty and destroy ecosystems for profit and personal gain. Coral bleaching and reef degradation is a major issue that has already become an almost irreversible process. There's still time to take action.
If you'd like to get involved there's plenty of organisations that are always looking for volunteers; we are the backbone of change.
Check out The Kimberley Like Nowhere Else.