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The Unleashing hell series
This series of new work is a dramatic shift in direction from the 2016 Only natural series. Vibrant abstractions of the natural world make way for the gritty reality of a narrative focussing on the ever increasing risk of intense bushfires as a result of climate change.
Climate Change is a slow moving disaster that struggles to compete for our attention. Iconic imagery of polar bears or hurricanes in faraway places do little to connect our day-to-day lives with the climatic changes occurring slowly around us.
We are living with an ever increasing risk of catastrophic bushfires due to climate change. Our fire danger ratings warn us of the potential hazard, but we are experiencing fires that far exceed the worst we could imagine. The fires are beyond categorisation.
My research revealed a striking quote that had such a significant influence on me that it inspired the title of this series of work, Unleashing hell. The full quote comes from an Australian Climatologist who explains that as a result of our inaction on reducing carbon emissions, the resultant climatic changes will disastrously increase the prevalence and impact of bushfires such that ‘we are unleashing hell upon Australia’.
As the single largest contributor of carbon emissions is our coal fired power stations, this has prompted the use of these symbols of electricity consumption. Most of the images are bespoke manipulations of household objects.
Words fail us evolved from the knowledge that the Fire Danger Index applies the rating of catastrophic for conditions at 100 or higher on the scale while some of our most deadly fires have exceeded 180. Factors that influence the severity of bushfires include temperature, rainfall, wind speed and fuel (vegetation). Climate change is magnifying their impact. Radiant heat in major bushfires can be so intense that it can kill people from hundreds of metres away without a flame ever touching them.
Heavy reliance on reverse cycle air-conditioners, as indicated by the fear of power black-outs in summer, is exacerbated by systemically poor house design. The air-conditioner that shields us from summer heat is linked to rising carbon emissions, that is contributing to the climatic changes that fuel our increased exposure to extreme bushfires.
Bushfires do lead to the loss of life and this can only be expected to rise as the intensity and frequency of fires increases due to the impact of climate change. While it may not be the threat of melting ice caps and rising sea levels that motivates us, it may well be the increased prevalence of bushfires that ignite our actions.
ABOUT THE ‘ONLY NATURAL’ EXHIBITION, SALA FESTIVAL 2016
I think it started when I was about to bite into an apple and noticed the unusual markings on the skin. Flashes of yellow intersecting with the red etc. During my regular grocery shopping I took a little longer to select the produce that I might photograph before consuming. I was intrigued to seek out a more interesting specimen and didn’t notice if I was getting frowns from the grocer.
Over many months I brought home fruit and vegetables I had never noticed before. Graffiti eggplant, gem squash and borlotti beans in their pods to name a few. Using a macro lens on loan (thanks very much Peter Stewart) I started to build a collection.
Unfortunately I found that a lot of the items did not look very appealing when heavily magnified. Tiny blemishes and imperfections did not always look good, but rather gave a negative impression in my eyes. I persisted as I did not want the whole item to be visible. The key to this abstraction approach was for the colour and texture to be highlighted and appreciated, regardless of what the scale and shape of the original source was.
Jolleys Boathouse Restaurant
1 Jolleys Lane, Adelaide
Exhibition accessible 7 days. Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm, Saturday 3pm to 9pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
Go to the Only natural web page.
ABOUT BACKSTAGE PASS EXHIBITION
The magic behind the magic, by Samela Harris.
Snaps and snippets, by Sophie Perri
The backstage areas of the Adelaide Festival Centre and Her Majesty’s Theatre are unveiled through a photographic exhibition that offers a rare insight into the nostalgia, humour and mechanics of our iconic performance spaces.Over a two year period, Adelaide documentary photographer Neville Cichon walked the stages, greenrooms, corridors and catwalks throughout the Adelaide Festival Centre and Her Majesty’s Theatre to capture the rarely seen backstage areas for a photographic exhibition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Centre.
The intention of this self-initiated project was to focus on the production department which is regularly overshadowed by the glossy promotions and attention given to the performers.
The exhibition features the green room and loading dock of Her Majesty’s Theatre that turns 100 years old this year. The physical age of the theatre is evident in the photographs as well as its long history of diverse theatrical productions.
The lighting, sound and mechanist roles are reflected through the ropes, wires and tools that adorn the backstage areas and an example of photodynamism is used to capture the movement of staff preparing for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
All works displayed are available for purchase as unframed prints (editions of 5 + 2 AP). Sales enquiries to Prolab Imaging via email to email@example.com or phone 8333 2166 during business hours Monday to Friday.
Prints will be ready for collection or shipping within five to seven working days.