Australia: Climate change shapes new art

“Concerns around climate change are shaping new Australian art,” writes Andrew Frost in the British paper The Guardian in a review of an Australian exhibition by Shoufay Derz. Here is description of three different climate change-related exhibitions currently on display in Australia.

Image: Black Lake_2012

‘Black Lake_2012’ by Shoufay Derz – pigment print on cotton paper. 107 x 100 cm

The “pervasive sense of doom has in part prompted a revival in contemporary art of the core themes of western art: the landscape, nature and human survival. A show by Sydney artist Shoufay Derz at Artereal gallery combines classical symbols of nature’s power such as the mountain peak and endless sky, with a minimalist aesthetic drawn from Buddhism and contemporary art,” Andrew Frost wrote.

Shoufay Derz is a Sydney-based artist of German and Taiwanese heritage “who sets out to conjure the ineffable. To portray that experience, emotion or phenomenon that is understood but not necessarily present; that state, that enigma, which resides at just beneath the threshold of perception or beyond vision,” explains a text in the exhibition catalogue.

The exhibition by Shoufay Derz runs in Sydney, Australia, until 13 November 2013.

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» Open or download Catalogue (PDF)

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The Guardian – 7 November 2013:
Concerns around climate change are shaping new Australian art
Artists are once more looking to landscape, nature and human survival, as Shoufay Derz’s new exhibition in Sydney shows. Article by Andrew Frost

The Guardian article


shape Things To come

Josh Wodak’s latest exhibition is an installation that physically maps where future sea shores would be in Newcastle according to different climate trajectories produced through engineering the world’s climate through bioengineering and geoengineering.

Dr Josh Wodak is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher whose participatory projects and interactive installations explore ecological sustainability and climate change. Formally trained in Visual Anthropology (University of Sydney) and Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Research (Australian National University), his work has been presented as performances, screenings, installations and exhibitions in art galleries, museums, theatres, performative spaces, cinemas, and festivals across Australia.

Josh Wodak writes on his website,

“Models of climate change trajectories show the shape of things to come for the biosphere and its inhabitants this century. Scientific organisations worldwide overwhelmingly maintain that the window to avoid runaway catastrophic climate change is closing fast: being one decade… at most. In turn, highly reputed climate scientists and scientific organisations are now proposing radical ways to engineer the world’s climate through bioengineering and geoengineering.

‘shape Things To come’ explores this reversal of agency: from being shaped by things to come, to how humans may shape things to come through climate engineering interventions designed to separate existing lifeforms from six degrees of catastrophe.”

‘shape Things To come’ runs at The Lock-Up Culture Centre in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia from 22 November 2013 at 5.30pm to 8 December 2013.


In the shadow of change

On 9 November 2013, Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne opened ‘In the shadow of change’ – Claudia Terstappen’s exhibition of large scale landscape photographs and places undergoing significant change. Revealing places of spiritual resonance, the artist’s photographs can also be seen in a new book by the same title.

The exhibition was opened by Bob Brown, former leader of Australian Greens party.

‘In the shadow of change’ runs to 26 January 2014 at the Monash Gallery of Art,

Poster for the event ‘Aussies against fracking’ in Sydney

Poster for the event ‘Aussies against fracking’ in Sydney on 18 November 2013

All Star Anti-Fracking

The Australian entertainment industry says no to Coal Seam Gas and fracking
Aussies Against Fracking is a collective of entertainment industry professionals, campaigners and ordinary Australians who oppose the coal seam gas mining (CSG) and the technique of hydraulic frackturing, called ‘fracking’. The movement was founded as a platform and vehicle to enable members of the entertainment industry to voice their opposition to CSG. The first concert event of Aussies Against Fracking is to coincide with Yoko Ono’s Australian visit. Yoko Ono is founder of the American organisation Artists Against Fracking.

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