Artist Statement: “Echoes” Exhibition
John Dahlsen 2016
Activism, aesthetics and transformation
This work reflects on the role of the environmental artist and art practice in the second decade of the 21st century, during a time when damage to the environment and economic choices by government continue to challenge the ideals of environmentalism. The body of art submitted in this exhibition “Echoes”, during the 2016 Darwin Festival, is an installation of sculpture, printmaking, and painting.
The art protests against recklessness on the part of policy makers while building an aesthetic appreciation of the artwork produced, contributing to new ways of seeing environmental problems. Elements that underpin the art practice include the relationship of physical and transformative concerns, highlighting an integration of symbolic geometric shapes, which are used in the exultation of mundane objects such as ocean litter.
My art provides an insight about the practice of making art that is both an activist and an aesthetic statement about contemporary society, while relying on that identical society for sales of that work. Through the creation of this body of work a niche is identified, at the nexus between social comment, aesthetics and the need to make a viable living from this environmental art, an art form that examines the passage of time in the landscape and the place of humankind within it.