Art Aviso – 1.5 Degrees

The whirlwind of data and opinion surrounding climate change can be overwhelming; how do we form something meaningful and informative out of all of the figures, news, opinions and anxiety surrounding this topic?

Art connects us to the problem in a felt way, it encourages engagement, deep thinking, problem-solving and questioning.

The title of this exhibition (1.5 Degrees) comes from the challenge of the global community to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees (above pre-industrial levels). It is about the science of climate change, communicated in diverse and intriguing ways.

17 Artist from across Australia explore our relationship to the planet, through explorations of the juncture between science and art, and the very human response to the looming threat of climate change.

CURATOR NOTES  |  Autumn Tansey – Guest Curator (ABOUT)  |  ABOUT ART AVISO

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‘Sampling 2’ depicts an uncertain, altered world where two figures collect flora specimens from the earth in order to understand the changes occuring and to protect biodiversity. I explore the fragility, tenderness and beauty of the humans who seek to examine, through careful observation, empathy and science, unnatural weather events and who ultimately desire an intimate connection to the earth and to protect it. The work took on another layer of significance as I recently watched devastating film footage and photographs of pink and blood red landscapes in fire affected towns in Victoria and NSW. With many others I feel dismayed that our ecosystems, including our wildlife, may not recover from these reoccurring environmental disasters and that a permanent, indelible imprint will be left. While this is a time for anger and protest, I am also humbled by those who attend to the earth in gentle, knowledgable and meaningful ways.

Artist Statement:

My paintings are highly worked and aim to build an ominous, otherworldly atmosphere through layers of oil paint, wax and contrasts of texture and light. An essential aspect of my art practice is the exploration of formal elements that celebrate a deep engagement with the physicality of painting. The process is akin to a boxing match where I attack the canvas, withdraw and apply and reapply layers of paint. The work starts to take on a life of its own and demands that you spend time sometimes just looking. Responding to environmental concerns, I draw upon images culled from the internet and personal photos that focus on humans reconnecting with and responding to the landscape. I also draw upon my surrounding environment for inspiration. I live in regional Victoria and have seen first hand the impact of drought and fire on the land. My paintings tangle with the landscape tradition, the chaos of nature, and concerns related to climate change.

PRICE: $4400

Stephen Pleban
oil and wax on linen
152 x 176 cm