To be a sculptor presents an interesting moral decision, With the current harvesting of resources globally (forests, minerals, metals, stone etc) becoming increasingly more finite due to deforestation, open cut mining, mass production methods and unsustainable demand, what then becomes an ethical material to use in the making of an artwork? That question led me to consider the fact that so many materials already exist. In our backyards, trashcans, garages, junkyards, wreckers and sidewalks.
The scale on which we create waste is magnificent.
This opened up so many possibilities.
For me waste materials present a beautiful invitation to embrace the concept of renewal and innovation.
An apathy has developed for our day to day material possessions . The idea that modern products contain this built in obselensence is widely accepted and has resorted I think to this devalued view of the various objects and items that we buy as consumers.
In order to be an agent of environment change I believe one must first love the detrimental factors that are affecting it. Waste materials must first be celebrated in order to bring about a more sustainable perspective of what should be wasted and why we are wasting things in the first place.
Just so that Robert Gray is here in the room with us, then, from the start; just so you hear his voice; just so that his pastures, creeks and estuaries join us at the confluence of the McKenzie and the Willamette, let me read you some of my favourite lines from his poetry. They open his poem “A Day at Bellingen,” a work from the very centre of his oeuvre, from the heart of his third (of seven) volumes, Skylight (1983).
A Day at Bellingen
I come rowing back on the mauve creek, and there’s a
among the shabby trees,
above the scratchy swamp oaks
and through the wrecked houses of the paperbarks;
a half moon
drifting up beside me like a jelly fish.
Now the reflected water becomes, momentarily, white—
have paused, held in their hailing
and the long water is a dove-grey rippled sand.
A dark bird hurries
low in a straight line silently overhead.
The navy-blue air, with faint underlighting;
Has gauze veil hung up within it, or a moist fresh
I land in the bottom of an empty paddock,
at a dark palisade
(Gray 1998, 126)
There’s Robert Gray: doing what he does like no one else, this coastal pastoral, with its echoes of Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Zen masters; there he goes, stilling time, slowing it, at least, to the pace of a dinghy on dark water at dusk. There is his palette: dove-grey, mauve, magnesium white, navy blue. There are some of his motifs: the daylight moon, the saplings, the dark bird in flight, the rowboat, the hanging smoke. There is nature’s “wrecked house.” And there on the shore are the empty paddocks his voice grew up in.
A unique Native Title determination recognising commercial rights with no qualifier for the first time in New South Wales is settled 19 years after the claim was first made.
Source: Unique Native Title claim settled after ‘painful’ 19-year wait
● Coffs Harbour ● Moonee Beach ● Sawtell ● Bonville ● Dorrigo ● Bellingen ● Woolgalga ● Nana Glen ● Uranga ● Raleigh
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