Ruffels, TD, Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award, Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport City Council, Devonport Regional Gallery, pp. 1 (2016) [Minor Creative Work]
While the tides are intrinsically linked to the gravitational forces of the moon, the sun, and the Earth’s rotation, the works in this year’s Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award exhibition focus instead on the less predictable personal, cultural and political relationships we have with the sea. Despite our often romantic perceptions of the ocean as a mysterious entity, we have collectively demonstrated our ability to harness its power for great benefit and pleasure, detriment and injustice.
In responding to the theme tidal, this year’s finalists have uncovered myriad ideas about, and associations with the sea. Through visual representation they have provided a commentary on the ways in which human actions continue to impose upon the natural environment. These artists have reflected on the ocean as a passage for the movement of people throughout history; discussed the role coastal regions play in our construction of a national identity; shared poetic metaphors and recalled personal memories. This collection of works truly reveals our inherent and multifaceted connection to the sea.
Just as the oceans envelope the globe, the issues explored by many of these artists are global in their reach and consequence. Two predominate concerns identified are contentious contemporary political issues: our complicity towards our role in climate change, and our attitudes and policies on asylum seekers, particularly those reaching our shores by boat. In regard to the former, we are now widely considered to be in the era of the Anthropocene: the period from which human activities and actions have substantially impacted our ecosystems. While culturally we have a preoccupation with the ocean as a place of beauty and a source of personal reinvigoration, collectively we remain unable, or unwilling, to initiate real strategies for altering the projected course of climate change. We continue to ignore the reality of the burdens we will impose on future generations; the impacts of polluting our oceans, of rising sea levels on coastal areas, and of endangering plant and animal species and forcing them to adapt to shifting ecosystems. Whether referencing specific events such as oil spills and the detrimental effects of climate change on particular species, or nostalgically reflecting on childhood memories of pristine ocean environments, several artists challenge our persistent complicity towards environmental matters.
|Item Type:||Minor Creative Work|
|Keywords:||art, landscape photography, culture, image|
|Research Division:||Creative Arts and Writing|
|Research Group:||Visual arts|
|Research Field:||Fine arts|
|Objective Division:||Culture and Society|
|Objective Field:||The creative arts|
|UTAS Author:||Ruffels, TD (Dr Troy Ruffels)|
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