What Are You Looking At? Linwood Arts & Eastside Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand. 11-30 July 2022

For this exhibition, artists were invited to interpret the theme “What Are You Looking At?” Rather than just answer it (i.e. not "what you're looking at is x,y,z") the hoped-for response would confront expectations around art, interrogate the idea of looking itself, and so on.

I exhibited 3 works from my Screwed-Up World series (2022), which form a triptych Safe; Danger; Dead. Artists are always looking and perhaps they “see” more than is visible in a casual glance. However, to actually say something about what they are looking at (or less literally, the issue they are discussing), it is necessary to interpret the vision or issue in ways that might resonate with the viewer  - though this is not always successful.

Our world – climate, society – is in a parlous state. Humans have caused it, by and large, though some would argue that climate change is just a naturally recurring process. We have treated the home on which we all live like a piece of rubbish. By literally screwing up the canvas, just as we screw up a piece of used, unwanted paper before discarding it, I have attempted to convey our throwaway society and its dire consequences.

As an artist, I choose not to use a photo-realistic approach, or photographs themselves, depicting pollution and destruction of the environment. Rather, I try to use a medium and technique that is appropriate to the topic, and I challenge the viewers to think about my art works and what they might be about – and then get them to think about the issues raised. To me, there is no point in merely reproducing (for example) a landscape, which is the work of Nature, not my work. We are so bombarded with images by the media, that in the end it is doubtful if anyone really takes it in. However, the artist can make people stop, question, and think – and maybe act.


View portfolio here

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