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.
RUSSELL CURR - Mungo #2
These shots were taken in the Mungo Lakes National Park of western New South Wales. This is the site of the Mungo Woman and Mungo Man discoveries, proving first peoples occupation of Australia for well over 40,000 years. It is also the site of the earliest known ceremonial burial in human history. For over 20,000 years there was a thriving community around the lush shores of Lake Mungo, but the climate changed about 17,000 years ago with the melting of the last ice age and the lakes dried up. The occupants did not disappear, but adapted to the changing climate. It is an area of great significance to the local first peoples – the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and the Mutthi Mutthi peoples of the Willandra Lakes – who claim continuous occupation for over 40,000 years and every time I visit I am deeply moved by this simple yet powerful fact. Climate change forced these peoples to adapt, and adapt they did, very successfully. Is our culture as adaptable ?
As a photographer my primary interest is the Australian landscape. I have always been interested in creating photos of minimalist landscapes and this is what attracts me to desert regions. I like to use the negative space to draw the viewers eye towards my chosen subject. Often my work is conducted in low light conditions which works to enhance the other worldly, timeless aesthetic which I find so overwhelming in the Australian outback. I view the world as a wonderful, beautiful, mysterious and deeply inspiring place. Its transient nature can at once be both a source of deep sadness and profound wonderment, that we have this brief moment of life to experience it. I try to convey through my photos some of this wonder, the fragility and the beauty of what I experience.
These photos are part of my long term project recording the Lake Mungo environment. This particular series captures the desert dawn under a winter mist. The history of human occupation in this area extending back for perhaps 50,000 years makes it for me, a particular pertinent area. What we see at Lake Mungo is the result of significant climate change that occurred at the end of the last ice age.
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