Waste not for sake of art

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LIFESTYLE - Moya Stevens

A REL­A­TIVELY new artis­tic prac­tice, en­vi­ron­men­tal art, will this week­end be the fo­cus of a work­shop hosted by Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil.

The Call of the Run­ning Tide work­shop will be led by renowned pro­fes­sional artist, Jill Chism, who has been com­mis­sioned to un­der­take pub­lic art projects around Aus­tralia.

Based at Oak Beach, Jill works in many me­dia and in re­cent years fo­cused on en­viprac­ti­cal ron­men­tal art, us­ing found ma­te­ri­als such as fo­liage, flot­sam and jet­sam and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, of­ten to high­light waste and pol­lu­tion.

“The work­shop over Satur­day and Sun­day will in­clude an ex­pla­na­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal art and its pur­pose which is to pro­vide a ve­hi­cle for dis­cus­sion on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues af­fect­ing our reef and rain­for­est,” she said.

Short pre­sen­ta­tions will be made by en­vi­ron­men­tal groups and writ­ers as well as ses­sions on tech­niques us­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als for bind­ing, glu­ing, stitch­ing and bal­anc­ing.

Some ses­sion will be open to the pub­lic.

“This art prac­tice has al­ways been of in­ter­est to me and it is the ul­ti­mate re­cy­cling — us­ing dis­carded items such as lighters, plas­tic bot­tle tops and combs to cre­ate works that bring at­ten­tion to what ends up in our en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

“It is in­ter­est­ing in that rub- bish that floats to our shores — say from Ja­pan — spent a long time in the sun and wa­ter, and can end up more at­trac­tive than it was orig­i­nally,” Jill ex­plained.

“There’s a pu­rity to it all — reusing these ma­te­ri­als. It’s all about at­trac­tion,” she said.

“These items, which orig­i­nally were to at­tract pur­chasers, end up be­ing thrown and be­come re­pul­sive rub­bish so we make some­thing pretty from some­thing ugly,” she said.

It is hoped that, with artists’ in­ter­est and broader com­mu­nity sup­port, The Call of the Run­ning Tide will be a bi­en­nial event, with ephemeral pub­lic sculp­ture be­ing cre­ated as a fes­ti­val.

The work­shop has been made pos­si­ble through a Re­gional Arts De­vel­op­ment Fund and is sup­ported by the Port Dou­glas Artists Group.

In­for­ma­tion about the work­shop and open ses­sions can be ob­tained from Rosey Cum­mings at ker­notsh@big­pond.net.au

Pic­ture: MOYA STEVENS

Jill Chism in her stu­dio. Her fo­cus has turned to en­vi­ron­men­tal art and has been com­mis­sioned for many projects na­tion­wide.

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