I found it on the net

This is one of my occasional “grab bag” or “miscellany” posts, simply sharing sites and images I have come across and tagged for one reason or another.

wall of films

Films for Action (http://www.filmsforaction.org) is a site which documents activist movies, much more methodically than I did in my Greenie Movies posts last year. The page which first caught my attention is their wall of films (above) but they have some interesting articles as well (I particularly liked their overview of worldwide moves towards reducing wage inequality) and a useful list of “independent media” in a sidebar on the article index page.

• This Environmental Art Calendar is just for inspiration. How do people think of such things? And then how do they make them?

• These hyper-stylised Renaissance-inspired insect drawings might hardly rate a mention after the calendar but they do do something with insect forms that I have never seen before, and I do like anything that encourages a positive attitude towards insects and, in fact, the whole biosphere in which we are so intricately embedded.

• Finally I will share a Facebook page. I can hardly believe I’m doing this – I dismissed FB entirely for years as a waste of time and bandwidth, a horrible fad which pandered to lowest-common-denominator narcissism, a time-sink … and it is still, in fact,  all of those if we allow it to be. On the other hand, it has become a useful means of spreading independent news and generating grass-roots crowd energy; and it has spawned its own visual language which, as I said in earlier posts, is sometimes beautiful and often fun. Trust Me, I’m an “Eco-designer” https://www.facebook.com/GreenSetGo enjoys the possibilities to the full. Reading the “About” info reveals the FB page is run by a real eco-design business … and there is nothing wrong with that, either.

Art for sustainable housing

landscape painting
Sue Tilley: Landscape (house paints on plasterboard)

Another local public service announcement:

Innovation 2 – Studio2 Exhibition 
Opening March 1 at 7pm
In a collaboration between Finlay Homes and Artcetera Studio2, local artists were invited to choose waste materials from the building of Finlay Homes new ‘Innovation’ home, to create artworks for the display home.  A range of materials from steel to plasterboard, wiring to tiles, and even lowly rust was swooped up eagerly for transformation into art.

The ‘Innovation’ home will be an educational and interactive example of sustainable living for the tropics.  Not only is it designed with sustainability in mind, but it will have monitoring systems running to allow visitors to see just how much energy is being saved.  As part of that environmental commitment, and in an attempt to reduce the staggering amount of building waste that heads for landfill, the furniture and artwork will be made from offcuts, recycled and waste materials.

Artists include Alison McDonald, Lynn Scott Cummings, Maggie Wretham, MJ Ryan-Bennett and Margot Douglas.
The exhibition will be on display until March 12 at Artcetera Studio2, 486-488 Flinders Street
For information: 0418 750 854  Sue Tilley.

I missed the opening but got there with my camera on the Sunday. It’s a small show but with a wide variety of good works; the two pictured here are from the two ends of the art-to-craft spectrum on display.

timber breadboard with wrought reo rod handle
Denise Axelson: Bread Board (scrap timber, reo rod, marble)

Ephemera in the Mist – Environmental Art Festival, Paluma

Ephemera in the Mist is an environmental art festival featuring installations in the rainforest of Paluma between August 25th and September 9th. I went to the inaugural festival last year and enjoyed it – see this report. This year’s event follows the same format. It has two key components:

Rainforest Organic Art Trail, a series of site-specific ephemeral installations built in the rainforest around Paluma. The artworks will be created within strict environmental guidelines and will be left in situ to gradually disintegrate back into the forest floor.

Village Sculpture Walk, a separate show in Paluma Village of enduring sculptural works with an environmental theme, created predominantly from recycled materials.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the People’s Choice in each of these two exhibitions.

Complementary activities include an exhibition of small artworks in the Community Hall; an artists’ marketplace on the village green; free art workshops with guest and local tutors; nature walks guided by a resident naturalist; artist talks; and a display of environmentally proactive products and organisations.

Official opening: August 25th
Workshops & Artists Market: August 15th & 26th. Entry is free.
Sculpture trail will be on show until Sept 9th
More information: 0418 750 854 (Sue Tilley) or http://www.ephemerainthemist.com/

Abstract photography

‘Photography’ means ‘writing with light’ and that’s what we do with the camera – write or (better) draw on the film or sensor with the light coming through the lens. There’s nothing to say the picture must be realistic or even representational, and these few don’t try to be.

swirls of colour on dark background
Gesture 1
swirls of colour on dark background
Gesture 2
bars of colour on dark background
Gesture 3

Sitting on Picnic Bay beach on Magnetic Island on Sunday evening I liked the lights of Townsville across the bay. My camera told me it wanted a very long exposure to capture them – four or five seconds – so I thought I would make a virtue of necessity  and move the camera around deliberately while the shutter was open. Two different gestures with the camera produced the first two images.

On the ferry approaching the brightly-lit docks a little later I did the same sort of thing with a rather shorter exposure to produce the third image above.

Is it art? Who cares?

Surely the better question is, “Do I like it?”

And each of us must answer for ourselves.

Grab bag: the art of climate change

Climate change is a science-heavy issue with enormous social and political implications so it makes sense that responses to it come from all sorts of people in all sorts of media. This little collection looks at visual art.

There was an excellent exhibition of art inspired by climate change in Melbourne a couple of months ago. It was reported on ABC TV’s 7.30 and that report is now available as video and transcript at http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3416543.htm. (The video is also on YouTube.) Metro Gallery’s page about its show, here, doesn’t add much but does mention a film of the project, which could be worth tracking down, too.

Looking for it a few minutes ago, I came across an American sculptor, Nathalie Miebach,  who translates climate numbers into colourful artworks which look more like intriguingly complicated toys than anything else. Read the article here and, if you like, click through to the associated photo gallery.

I have known the work of street artist Banksy for quite a long time but I haven’t mentioned it on Green Path before. Here is his graphic comment on global warming.

Political cartoons are also art, of a kind, and that is my excuse for squeezing Climatesight’s collection of cartoons http://climatesight.org/image-collection/ into this post. Here’s a sample from it to encourage you to investigate further:

Cartoon: people queuing for "A Reassuring Lie" and bypassing "An Inconvenient Truth"

P.S. (27.3.12) Just found a couple more here – scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Ephemera in the Mist

straw figure in rainforest
Straw Lady

The villagers of Paluma, high in the rainforest an hour or two north of Townsville, seem to have been collectively inspired by the city’s ‘Strand Ephemera.’

Their ‘Ephemera in the Mist’ last weekend emulated Townsville by presenting a series of ‘ephemeral’ sculptures and installations beside the main road and threaded along a tiny walking track through the rainforest on the edge of town, and went one better by complementing that show with a more conventional exhibition in the community hall, stalls selling art and craft works, and workshops.

Visitor numbers on Sunday were good without making it feel crowded. The weather helped the event live up to its name with mist, fine drizzle, brief showers and sunny breaks on a five minute rotation. We enjoyed the change, actually, after so many months without rain in town. I don’t know which artwork won the ‘people’s choice’ award but we had no doubt of our own favourite, Marion Gaemers’ nearly life-size Straw Lady sitting comfortably on a mossy rock beside the tiny creek.

Other sculptures were less ephemeral, or more. Unfired clay sculptures were already dissolving back into the ground; fragile constructions of sticks and twine modelled on bower-birds’ bowers were not going to last much longer; and the mandala by Sue Taylor explicitly, and beautifully, celebrated ‘the cycles of birth, growth, death and renewal of the rainforest plants.’

Leaf-litter mandala

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, sand mandalas are made to be equally ephemeral; their value as meditation objects is in the focus needed to construct them and they are ritually unmade soon after they are completed. Here’s one I saw made by the Gyuto monks in Hobart in 2008:

Sand mandala
Sand Mandala
Mandala detail
Mandala detail

Strand Ephemera

The city council runs a biennial art show on our beachfront, the Strand, and it is always worth visiting. I mentioned it here a week ago but it deserves more notice than that so here are some of my photos of it. As usual, clicking on a small image will take you to a bigger one.

Anemone on rock face
Erica Gray: Rock Anemone

If you started at the Rockpool end of the Strand, this giant fabric anemone is one of the first artworks you would have seen.

Around the other side of the Rockpool, there was a series of playful reo-rod and wire sculptures, a little more than life-size. From there on, it was a matter of looking on the beach, up in the trees and on the lawns all the way down to the park behind Tobruk Pool.

Wire sculptures
Aden MacLeod: People Watching People in the Spirit
Giant crayons
Bogdanis and Hynes: Colours of the Strand
Red and white ceramic mushrooms
Jean Downes: Mushrooming
Fabric figure of child on a swing
Fibres and Fabrics Association: I Remember When















The Fibres and Fabrics group had several groups of figures in trees along the Strand, taking their theme and title from the days when children were encouraged to get outdoors and risk a few bumps and scrapes. I first saw them just on dusk …

Fabric figues on tree branch
Fibres and Fabrics: I Remember When

Artists’ responses to the word ‘Ephemera’ and the location varied widely, from taking little notice of either, through to the use of fragile and/or recycled materials and taking the environment as subject matter. One of the most ephemeral works in the show was one which also appealed to me because of my interest in meditation, the zen garden created by Helena Rador-Gibson and a team of helpers. A new pattern was raked into the sand each afternoon; it was gone again before long, of course.

Raked sand and Magnetic Island
Helena Rador-Gibson: Zen Ephemera

There were 36 artworks in the show, so there are many yet to see. Perc Tucker Gallery ran a photographic competition in association with the event and they have put entries to it on Flickr, here. Bon appetit!