a w a s h

A large-scale, mixed media assemblage that exhibits the recent and severe coastal erosion of the Eastern Australian, Newcastle coastline during and after the recent 2022 floods. The depletion of sand from the beach during these floods has uncovered a large portion of previously unexposed rock, which has formed the basis to a number of the canvas panels. The work includes eight panels of painted and processed images taken on Newcastle Beach. Each panel displays images of the rock, marine life, marine flora and the ocean bed at low tide shifting over a two year period from August 2020 to August 2022.

Various electronic components, seashells, propellors, LEDs and a small sensor mechanism embedded into one of the panels will trigger light, air and sound movement to accompany the largely visual assemblage, which includes 4 panels at 900mm x 600mm, 2 panels at 750mm x 600mm, and 2 panels at 450mm x 600mm.

In this work I am aspiring to engage with the consequences of the climate crisis we are now facing due to the ‘now inevitable’ major sea-level rise caused by the melting of the Greenland ice cap. 

Damian Carrington, the Environment editor for the Australian edition of the Guardian has written that, “Major sea-level rise from the melting of the Greenland ice cap is now inevitable, scientists have found, even if the fossil fuel burning that is driving the climate crisis were to end overnight. The research shows the global heating to date will cause an absolute minimum sea-level rise of 27cm (10.6in) from Greenland alone as 110tn tonnes of ice melt. With continued carbon emissions, the melting of other ice caps and thermal expansion of the ocean, a multi-metre sea-level rise appears likely”.

The full article can be found in the Australian edition of the Guardian, 29 August 2022 News Website

The 8 panels include:

Panels 1-3. Rock Horse – Newcastle Beach 2022
Panels 4-6. Rock Pattern, Sea bed, Marine Life & Flora – Newcastle Beach 2022
Panels 7-8. Marine Flora & Rock – Newcastle Beach 2022

Panels 7 & 8 house electronic components to include MOTION, LIGHT & SOUND triggered on the face of the panels by close proximity to an Ultrasonic Range Finder.

The electronics and sound system for this assemblage are built into the rear of panels 7 & 8 that exhibit the marine flora, rock and marine life depleted from the eastern coastline of Newcastle Beach over an undetermined period of time but within a documented two year time frame from early 2020 to late 2022. I wanted to add a soundtrack to the assemblage and accompany this with air and light movement to highlight and wash the captured marine life’s flora and fauna out to sea. The simple but profound soundtrack provides a countdown to the end of life as we know it living on the shores of the oceans we love to inhabit.

This project will be developed during a Venezia Contemporanea residency program at La Storta Exhibition Space for two weeks in October 2023. The location of the residency is a 500 year old renaissance bottega La Storta, which is one of the most authentic exhibition spaces in Venice in the Old Ghetto. This year’s Program runs in parallel with the Architecture Biennale di Venezia 2023.

Sources:

All electronic and artist components are sourced in Australia from: 

• Canvas prints by Stephen Neal Printing, Mount Victoria, NSW.

• Little Bird Corporation Pty Ltd https://www.littlebird.com.au/

This Sydney based company is a supplier for the US companies Adafruit and Sparkfun

• The mono speaker was originally sourced from Jaycar https://www.jaycar.com.au/shielded-3-inch-15w-8-ohm-full-range-speaker/p/AS3034