Environmental art interview 6

Do you believe that raising awareness necessarily leads to an action? Can you see the impact of your work creating a shift in consciousness?
Absolutely. I receive telephone calls and emails from people week in week out.
I’m constantly receiving enquiries from people – particularly in the United States and also in Europe. These are people using the information I provide on my website for their studies, writing about my work in their theses, newspapers or magazines and the general questioning is along the lines of what you’re asking here.

Environmental art interview 5

What role do you think art plays in prompting public dialogue about all those things?
I think art can play a significant role in this kind of dialogue. Art really has a place to be an informer. All the way through history, artists have been at the forefront of responding to contemporary issues in society and being a bit like beacons for the general public, for society at large.

Environmental art interview 4

Is there any environmental issue in particular that concerns you?
I think I have a very generalised view of what’s going on with the environment at the moment and I guess that has political ramifications as well. I, like most of the people on the planet – unless they’re particularly blind, just see that the planet is in acute ecological crisis at the moment and we as a human race could be going either way with this. It may be just way too late to save this fragile ecology we’ve got.

Environmental art interview 3

Were you picking up plastic with the intention of using it, or was it initially just to get it off the beach?
At the beginning, I was just going to take it to the local recycling centre at the tip. Then after I’d collected maybe five or ten of these jumbo bags I realised I could imagine using this stuff in some way that was artistic.

Environmental art interview 2

Did you set out to make environmental art or art that would have a political message?
No I never did. When I moved into this new home and decided to make driftwood furniture, the sole intention was just to make something beautiful for the home I’d just moved into. I went to remote places along the Victorian coast where it was just four-wheel driving and venturing out to islands on boats, where huge logs of driftwood were being washed ashore and parched by the sun and the salt and knocked about on the rocks.

Environmental art interview 1

Can you tell me something of your artistic back ground?
I went to the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. I began in 1977 and I was there for three years. During that time I was fortunate enough to have a number of key figures in the Australian art world lecturing there and it was a very free environment. You were just allotted your own studio space and you were pretty much left to our own devices during that whole time, with ongoing really excellent feedback coming from the various lecturers, (in between their games of chess).

Environmental Art.

I have often been asked why are there so many different approaches to environmental art. I can only really go to into depth about my own specific approach to environmental art and why it is called that and mention a few other artists who I am aware of that have also had the environment feature strongly in their work.

The Artist and Breathing

The most important advice: take a deep breath. You are an artist; no one wants you to be anything but that. When it comes to writing about yourself or pitching your work, it’s perfectly normal to feel wildly uncomfortable.

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