In an effort to draw attention to the ongoing climate crisis and the unprecedented number of bushfires across Australia, 41 artists transformed the streets of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane into the nation’s biggest unsanctioned campaign advocating for immediate action. Last week, those behind Bushfire Brandalism (previously) replaced 78 posters across the three cities with original designs focused on the fossil fuel industry, heroic local firefighters, and the devastation of wildlife and natural habitats across the country.
As a collective group of Australian artists, we have been driven to reclaim public advertising space with posters speaking to the Australian government’s inaction on climate change and the devastating bushfires.
We do not accept that this situation is ‘business as usual.’ We are making these issues visible in our public spaces and in our media; areas monopolized by entities maintaining conservative climate denial agendas. If the newspapers won’t print the story, we will!
Many of the pieces were installed at bus stops and other public spaces complete with a QR code, allowing viewers to scan and access more than 30 charities aiding in the crisis directly. Considering one company controls 59 percent of daily newspaper sales in Australia, the artists also wanted to push back against general advertising practices, questioning media coverage of climate issues.
Artists involved in the campaign include Georgia Hill, Tom Gerrard, Sarah McCloskey, Amok Island, Andrew J Steel, Blends, Callum Preston, Cam Scale, Damien Mitchell, Dani Hair, DVATE, E.L.K, Ed Whitfield, FIKARIS, Fintan Magee, HEESCO, JESWRI, Ghostpatrol, Leans, Lluis fuzzhound, Lotte Smith, Lucy Lucy, Makatron, Michael Langenegger, Peter Breen, The Workers Art Collective, Stanislava Pinchuk, The Lazy Edwin, Thomas Bell, Tom Civil, WordPlay Studio, and Peter Breen, among others who remain anonymous.
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Earlier this week we were sent this heartbreaking new animation from Oh Yeah Wow (previously) that was created in direct response to the horrific Bushfire Crisis currently unfolding across Australia. Titled “Tomorrow’s on Fire,” the short addresses the collective hopelessness felt in the face of political inaction, and the loss of 28 lives, thousands of homes, and potentially hundreds of millions of animals, in a fire season greatly exacerbated by the effects of global warming.
Oh Yeah Wow’s animation inspired us to put together a quick fundraiser. We reached out to artists across the globe and asked if anyone might be willing to donate a print, painting, or object, with a percentage of sales going toward humanitarian, wildlife, and firefighter support in Australia. More than 50 artists answered the call offering their work, so many that we were unable to include everyone here. All the pieces below are available now, with proceeds going toward various relief organizations. Click through to each work to see the terms and beneficiary.
Thank you to everyone for contributing. It means the world. If you’re unable to afford a purchase right now, please consider donating directly to the Wildlife Victoria. Without further adieu, PLEASE buy this art.
AND THERE’S MORE…
See also work by Cultur, Elisa Dore, 3 Fish Studios, Stephanie Shank, Marcy Lamberson, LittleGoldFoxDesigns, Jenny Belin, Dan Alvarado, Natalie Wernimont, Hannah Rothstein, Rayna Lo, Sally Bartos, and Cheri Smith.
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Indoor Installation of 10,000 Plants Considers Relationship Between Endangered Australian Grasslands and Architecture
For Australia’s Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion, curators Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright, of Baracco+Wright Architects worked with artist Linda Tegg to create Grasslands Repair, a 10,000-plant recreation of the grasslands of southeast Victoria. The living indoor installation spans much of the pavilion and extends to its outdoor space, with walkways that allow viewers to move among the 65 species of Western Plains Grasslands plants.
The theme for the 2018 biennale (which opened in May) is “Repair,” which was described in a press release as a way of considering how architecture can “play a role in repairing the places it is part of.” Only one percent of the grasslands of mid-18th century Victoria still exists— largely the result of urbanization and industrial land use — so for Baracco, Wright, and Tegg, Grasslands Repair shows the real cost of human land occupation. “The area of plants exhibited is similar to that taken up by the pavilion,” the curators said. “It is also a smaller area than that of an average Australian family house. Such an area takes around an hour to bulldoze.”
Supporting the living garden from above is an installation called Skylight, which uses LEDs as an artificial light source since the walls and ceiling of the structure block the sun. Throughout the biennale, films that explore the theme of Repair are screened on the walls of the Grasslands Repair installation, including Ground, which was created by Baracco+Wright and Tegg in collaboration with David Fox. Without the history of the region for context, the installation is just another indoor garden perfectly suited for selfies, but with the knowledge of what human interaction has done to indigenous species, it becomes a call to action to try and undo the damage we have done.
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A native of The Netherlands and now based in Australia, Amok Island depicts flora and fauna that can be found in the locations of his colorful murals. The artist’s distinctive minimal style is reminiscent of recent trends in digital design. However, his analog use of flat fields of color and geometric shapes to interpret the nuanced forms of animals and plants is a fresh take in the current mural scene.
Amok writes on his website that if weren’t an artist, he would be a biologist. He takes many of his own reference photos (including underwater), and titles each mural with the name of the plant or animal. The artist describes his passion for the natural world:
The theme of natural exploration and conservation is a strong and constant undercurrent of Amok Island’s artistic practice. His lifelong fascination with nature and her relationships and history with mankind drive the artist’s obvious appreciation and obsession with his subjects and his urge to direct the attention of his audience to them.
Amok has finished murals in twenty five countries and counting, and also creates smaller paintings, which he sometimes editions as prints. You can see more work on his website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
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Since 2003, Australian photographer Murray Fredericks has made at least twenty journeys to the center of Lake Eyre, a desert lake with an extremely high concentration of salt. Fredericks drags all of his equipment out into the barren landscape, capturing the dramatic sky reflected in both the inch-deep water and his rectangular mirror. The images are breathtaking color-based works, my favorites featuring a double horizon locked within the mirror and the water below.
“In the ‘Vanity’ series, rather than reflecting our own ‘surface’ image, the mirror is positioned to draw our gaze out and away from ourselves, into the environment, driving us towards an emotional engagement with light, colour and space,” said Fredericks about the series.
Images from Vanity are included in his solo exhibition titled Salt:Vanity at Hamiltons Gallery in London through June 14, 2017. You can see a behind-the-scenes look at Fredericks’ photographic process and journey into Lake Eyre in the short video above. (via Ignant)
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Australian photographer Warren Keelan (previously) captures crashing waves from beside, and sometimes within their swell. Clad in a wetsuit he takes to the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia to photograph the dazzling curvature of waves right as they break. Keelan sells prints of both the waves and sea life he comes across during his swims on his website. You can see more of his work on his Instagram and Facebook.
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Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.