“It is the role of the artist to communicate in ways that travel beyond the constructs of written language and the rules of conventional engagement. If humanity cannot fathom a way to communicate the importance of protecting our world for future generations it is up to artists to use some deeper way of resonating the importance our responsibility to look after each other and the natural environment that ultimately sustains us…. ” Rebeccah Dent 2014
The work I have submitted for the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize is a direct comment on climatic changes taking place in the Arctic and the immediate implications this has for wildlife and ultimately the planet. The work is constructed from plaster and reclaimed wood through a process of hand carving, sanding and casting.
The hand carved plaster bear was influenced by the art of the Inuit peoples of Alaska who depicted The Great Bear in their sculpture and art acknowledged as a talisman for hunting, protection and magic. Often carved from stone or bone I have chosen to depict the bear in plaster to represent their current state of fragility.
The Arctic is currently contracting (shrinking) at a rate of 9 per cent each decade as a direct result of global climate change/warming, which is a threat to the very survival of the Arctic native peoples and wildlife who’s coastlines are being swamped.
The Arctic is estimated to hold the world’s largest resources of untapped oil and gas reserves. These reserves are currently being explored at great risk to the biologically productive shallows they harbor. The risk of oil spill, blow outs, leaks or shipping accidents will have serious irreversible implications for wildlife and our world as we know it.
I have applied my creative skills and expertise to create a visual message that I hope hits at the heart of those concerned with the possible and immanent danger to a part of the world that should remain a refuge and heritage park for all future generations to study and enjoy. This work is also designed to appeal to children who are after all the future decision makers.
A percentage of the sale of this work will be donated to the World Wildlife Foundation.