Willow Yellow 2016

Mandy Martin + Alexander Boynes + Willow Yellow (Still) 2016

Mandy Martin + Alexander Boynes + Willow Yellow (Still) 2016


Alexander Boynes and Mandy Martin

Alexander Boynes and Mandy Martin created Willow Yellow in 2016 for Call + Response, Orange Regional Gallery 26 March – 12 June. Several artists were invited to create works which responded to another artwork in the gallery collection and Mandy and Alexander chose Brett Whiteley’s Willow at Carcoar. The exhibition showcases the newly created works alongside the original.  

Pot holed roads winding through bleached yellow hills and random encounters with kangaroos, wombats popping out of burrows, blue wrens, huge boulders and looming fence posts are all part of the vocabulary Brett Whiteley lyrically invented in his Central West landscapes. Strewn around the creeks are his emblematic Autumnal willows which are quintessential Whiteley and Central West. Willow Yellow responds to the call of Willow at Carcoar speculating on how Brett might “paint” this landscape now if he were still here.

As homage but also to pose questions about how this landscape has changed and how Brett’s pop vision may have adapted to current times, our willow is fluorescent yellow and explodes like an incendiary every few minutes. It perches Delft- like on a waste rock heap over Cadia Gold Mine.

Mining, usually hidden from view in the Central West, except from the air, has swept down the length of NSW on a scale unprecedented in earlier mining booms.  The waste rock heaps that build slowly towards the horizon line of the Canoblas Range can be clearly seen from Mandy’s studio. Alexander and Mandy visited the mine at the end of 2015 to research this collaborative work. It brings together painting, digital projection and temporal elements in a continuum, mimicking the work at the mine which continues 24 hours a day every day of the year, largely unseen and unheralded.

Mandy Martin is an artist who has held numerous exhibitions in Australia and internationally.  Her works are in many public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and other state collections and regional galleries. In the USA she is represented in the Guggenheim Museum New York; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno and many private collections. 

She lives in the Central West of New South Wales, Australia.

She currently is an Adjunct Professor Fenner School of Environment and Society,

Australian National University.

Arnhembrand

A Successful Second Trip

Following our successful 'reccie' in March to Maningrida to present community members in the Djlek IPA with a project proposal developed from their concerns about Living on Healthy, we returned with a larger Arnhembrand team to Maningrida in the Djelk IPA and then Kabulwarnamyo in the Warddeken IPA from 11-15 May. Both communities endorsed our proposal and started drawings, digital and oral recordings and signed participation consent forms.

Ranger and artist Greg Wilson making a start on a fluoro masterpiece (photo by Hugo Sharp).

Maningrida, Djelk IPA

Djelk Ranger Dave (photo by Hugo Sharp).

After a meeting with Maningrida Arts and Culture, Wiwa Project and Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation to organise the logistics and a programme for the week, everyone scattered around the community to discuss their individual programmes. Guy headed off to talk with the Rangers and they hunted a buffalo, destined for the crocodile trap down near the wharf, where the kids swim! Alexander and Laura Boynes met with Natalie Carey at Wiwa, David, Fran and I collected the art materials and canvases freighted out by barge from Darwin which were stored at Babbarra designs within the Women's Centre. We organised a working programme with the women for the week. We left Henry Skerritt and Bill Fox to familiarise themselves with the art and artists represented by MAC. They were delighted to immediately meet and interview John Marwundjul. Another highlight for them during the week was witnessing the smoking ceremony for the completion of an enormous hollow log Johnny Bulunbulun had been painting at the time of his death in 2010 and which his widow Laurie Maburru had continued to completion. Henry recorded a number of oral histories from the senior MAC artists and also the Arnhembrand artists during the week, which explicate the works being made for the Arnhmebrand project. Bill was tasked with placing Arnhembrand within an international Brand context and also in the stream of multidisciplinary art and environment projects on an international scale. He thought and researched widely during the week.

Daniel Bonson Yams and dragonflies.

Jennifer Wurrkidj Goanna, Sea Turtle and Barramundi.

Digital still from Alexander Boynes' video work. 

Ivan Namarnyilk Feral Pigs rubbing on rock art.

David Leece The flood plain from Djinkarr.

Mandy Martin Djinkarr sketch.

Jennifer Wurrkidj Barramundi and food seeds.

After buying our food we headed out to set up the “Lab”, the science workshop at Djinkarr, for the painting workshops that week. David and I painted fluoro grounds on 30 canvases in preparation and shortly after, the first artists, Djelk Rangers, Ivan Namarnyilk and Greg Wilson arrived to work on large squares of heavy black paper, while David and I grabbed a few moments to work also.

Fran Murrell and Leila Nimbadja (photo by Mandy Martin).

Fran Murrell and Leila Nimbadja (photo by Mandy Martin).

Later after a magnificent sunset, Leila Nimbadja, Djinkarr Traditional Owner, joined us for dinner and agreed to work with Fran Murrell and the women from Babbarra Designs on a project about food. They all collected and used local seed to apply to small partially painted canvases. Leila has expert knowledge on plants, birds and bush foods and medicine and runs a plant nursery in Maningrida.

The following days were a busy continuum of the Rangers, the women from Babbarra designs and Daniel Bonson from MAC, painting well understood and passionately explained environmentally themed works about ghost nets and plastic in the ocean, through to the first fluoro rarrk feral cat and kitten ever painted!

Alexander and Laura worked with performers at Wiwa, and were really excited to record a Creation story with the Pascoe family. It was a good chance for Laura to observe and do some preparatory dance moves with possible Arnhembrand new wave performers. Alexander and Laura continued work after dark, collecting support material for the digital work, the filming of a cane toad causing great hilarity. It was of course captured by Hugo as usual who was everywhere the whole week photographing and filming everything and at all times.

Hugo Sharp feeling the heat (photo by Mandy Martin).

Djelk power rangers wearing Arnhembrand bandanas (photo by Mandy martin).

 Djelk Ranger Darryl (photo by Guy Fitzhardinge).

As the season had dried out quickly, access to remote outstations is now possible and Guy went out with the Djelk Rangers to visit a few and drop off buffalo and crocodile, hunted and butchered along the way, to people who are otherwise totally isolated and without services during the wet. It is burning season and fires were started everywhere in both IPA’s while we were there. Guy walked 5 kms with a fire dripper one day starting fires, David Leece had an exciting time photographing when the fire suddenly flared up near him. 

Back-burning (photo by Guy Fitzhardinge).

Head of the Djelk Rangers, Dominic Nicholls (photo by Guy Fitzhardinge).

Kabulwarnmyo, Warddeken IPA

Scenic lunch spot (photo by David Leece).

We spent our final day at Kabulwarnmyo, spell bound as we made the short and bumpy hop by light plane from Maningrida, over the rugged, remote and beautiful stone country. Elder, Keith Nadjamerrrek, met us at the airstrip and in a freshly washed troopie, delivered us the short drive to the community for further welcomes to Country and a briefing by Georgia Valance and Jake Weigl, who had organised a full and amazing day. Keith led us to the grave of his father, Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek “Wamud Namok” and as his widow Mary watched over us from her tent house nearby, we paid our respects to this great man who started the Kabulwarnmyo outstation and instigated so many other important initiatives in Arnhem Land. We then all walked to the nearby spring where Mary and family introduced the new visitors to the spirits of old people and wet their heads in the spring.

After a brief introduction about Arnhembrand and once again gaining approval to proceed with the project as described in earlier discussions, I quickly set up a painting camp under the trees nearby the spring and was delighted that 4 generations of Lofty’s family were painting with us including his widow Mary, 2 sons, 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren including baby Victor and 3 year old Richard!

(photo by Alexander Boynes)

(photo by Alexander Boynes)

(photo by Alexander Boynes)

After lunch back at main camp and a quick inspection of the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust School project and the other new camp structures which had been surveyed and redesigned by David Leece, (now  unglamorously but fondly known as “Dunny Dave”), Keith drove us in the troopie out to see the last work painted on rock by Lofty. Historian, Henry Skerritt was beside himself with excitement, having met and written about Lofty several times.

Lofty's final rock painting (photo by David Leece).

Near this site was a mossy, fern trimmed “cold” cave, which is named for the breath of the Rainbow Serpent and is also very important for a small pond dwelling invertebrate only found in that special site.

We continued on to a more expansive rock art site where once again I set up to paint on large sheets of heavy black paper, with Gavin, Ray and 2 year old Patrick Nadjamerrek. The rest of the group after a long ramble through the rock art sites with Keith, drove out to the Mann River which is a beautiful swimming place with Pandanas Palms and clear flowing water.

Gavin Namarnyilk Wildfire and Rock Art.

Mary Najamerrek Sugar Bag Spirits.

The day ended far too soon but with a clear invitation to return and work for longer with the community next time.  As promised, Jake Weigl, as part of the Warddeken fire abatement programme, had set fire to the Country from Kabulwarnmyo to Jabiru that day by dropping incendiaries from the helicopter thus blocking our view totally with smoke on the return flight to Darwin. The aerial tour companies would have been complaining that he had ruined their “scenics” again but at least, because it was a week day, he hadn’t caused the cancellation of the cricket match in Jabiru because of poor light as had happened previously!

Many thanks to all who helped make this second trip possible.

The team enjoying an Arnhem sunset. (photo by Hugo Sharp).

General

Strange Objects for Strange Times - Blog post by Libby Robin

 

The rapidly growing Climarte is an ‘Art for a Safe Climate’ movement that works to harness ‘the creative power of the Arts to inform, engage and inspire action’ through Arts events, forums and ‘creating an alliance of Arts practitioners and organisations that advocate for immediate, effective and creative action on climate change’. In May 2015, one of its events was an Anthropocene Cabinet of Curiosities, held in Australian Galleries, a major private gallery in Collingwood, Melbourne, as part of the Art Show, The Warming.(2) The curator and artist, Mandy Martin, who was a presenter at the Anthropocene Slam in Wisconsin, called on her fellow artists to make ‘Art for a Safe Climate’ and included An Anthropocene Cabinet of Curiosities with a performance-based ‘Slam’ (#anthropSLAM) as part of the opening event on 3 May 2015.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING LIBBY ROBIN'S POST..

Arnhembrand, Art + Environment

Arnhembrand Update 1

 

Arnhembrand: Living on Healthy Country is a new art, science and story project which Mandy Martin and David Leece scoped at the invitation of the community with the Djelk Rangers in Maningrida, Arnhem Land, in March 2015.

Photo by David Leece

Photo by David Leece

We firstly thanked the Traditional Owners for permission to visit Country and acknowledged the elders past and present. We then presented some models of how Arnhembrand would work with community participation on art and stories about environmental preservation. This would raise awareness both nationally and internationally of the work the Indigenous communities living in the Djelk and Warddeken Indigenous Protected Areas in Arnhem Land undertake to preserve their culture and environment. The Arnhembrand project is designed to support the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust which is working in the long term to achieve these preservation objectives. Arnhembrand aims to create a multi-disciplined and participatory project following the successful model of the Paruku Project. We presented examples of possible outputs including a book, a DVD, a website, blogs, an archive and exhibitions. We were then invited to meet with artists and artist/rangers at the The Wíwa Project which is hosting Arnhembrand in Maningrida. We presented our ideas in more depth and showed examples of ideas and techniques for drawing, painting and digital art that we could experiment with to foster a new wave of contemporary art which builds on each individual artist's distinct style while extending their traditional practice. The new wave art and new media created will assist in raising awareness of the environmental issues the Djelk and Warrdeken communities deal with.


Drawing workshop with The Wíwa Project 


Digital Art with The Wíwa Project 

Natalie Carey, Coordinator of Wiwa Media Unit, Mathias Cameron, Wiwa artist, Alexander Boynes, artist, Sirus Rostron, Wiwa artist, Hugo Sharp photographer/ Videographer. Photo Mandy Martin

"Dreaming Story" by Alexander Boynes


Drawing with Babbarra Designs

Arnhembrand also worked with Babbarra Designs who work out of The Women’s Centre and the women experimented with making new wave drawings about feral animals and weeds in their community. The chance to experiment will inspire new designs and approaches to making art while contributing to the environmental goals of the Djelk Rangers and the community.


Kabulwarnymyo

Arnhembrand has also been invited to work with a fourth group of artists at Kabulwarnymyo, in May 2015. We will offer some exploratory drawing with new media and digital media to the descendants of the famous artist, Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek “Wamud Namok” who lived and worked at Kabulwarnymyo . Arnhembrand aims to provide opportunities for Wamud Namok’s descendants to build on his legacy and further develop their own art and income opportunities.

Photo by Hugo Sharp

Arnhembrand: Living on Healthy Country will inject energy through experimentation with new wave art and media and produce new material for performance and exhibition which take as their content living on healthy Country. This will also contribute to the Djelk and Warrdeken archives of stories and recordings and will generate income through external exhibition and media opportunities.

Climate, Exhibitions

The Warming - Exhibition

 

ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2015 will be staged in Melbourne from 11 April to 17 May, with further participation from museums and galleries located in greater Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Mandy has curated an exhibition at the Australian Galleries, 28 Derby Street that will be included as part of the festival.

The Warming, and the Anthropocene Cabinet of Curiosities Australian Galleries, 28 Derby Street, Collingwood 3 – 24 May 2015

For more information about the Climarte Festival please head to artclimatechange.org


 

Art, culture, and environment are areas of contemporary intersection, generating exciting explorations of aesthetic ideas and creative thinking concerning the environmental conundrums of the 21st Century.

ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2015 is a festival of climate change related arts and ideas that will include over 20 curated exhibitions alongside a series of keynote lectures and public forums featuring local and international guests. These stimulating events will attract a broad audience and provide a clear space for the discussion of the challenges and opportunities, impacts and solutions, arising from climate change.

Exhibitions

The Night Parrot - Exhibition

 

The Night Parrot will be exhibited at the Delmar Gallery in Sydney's Inner West from mid March to mid April. 

Mon-Tues: Closed

Wed-Sun: 12:00-5:00 pm 



Installation and opening night images by Silversalt Photography.


Desert Lake, General

Paruku Project. Art and Science in Aboriginal Australia Blog 15 November 2014

Paruku Project. Art and Science in Aboriginal Australia Blog 15, November 2014

DSC_5421lowresOne of the five major outcomes the Mulan community and Warruyanta Art Centre asked for from the Paruku Project was that their story should be taken to the world and this year we have achieved this through the Centre for Art + Environment exhibition which opened at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada 21 June and runs through till 7 December 2014.

This exhibition is drawn from the Paruku Archive and Project collection given to the Nevada Museum of Art by Basil Mcilhagga, David Leece and Mandy Martin. David Taylor also donated one of his photographs. This exhibit was necessarily smaller than the Araluen Art Centre exhibit of Desert Lake in Alice Springs in February 2013 but no less impressive given its world context in a major museum.

Four of the Paruku project team, Jamie Brown, John Carty, Guy Fitzhardinge and I were invited to attend at speak at the 2014 Art + Environment Conference in October. Jamie was unable to attend but David Leece and Fran Murrell joined us as conference participants

We participated in a sequence of panels dealing with“Fieldworks” and I was asked to talk about “Painting for Protection” given that much of the conference had been devoted to art created around humans interacting with animal species. I spoke for 10 minutes and showed a short 2 minute excerpt of the Desert Lake film, as a way of introducing the project, my artwork and the other panellists . Guy Fitzhardinge talked about our Western tendencies to separate people and environments and how it is important to understand the deep connections the Wiradjuri people have to their landscape. John Carty addressed Glenn Albrecht’s concept of “Solastalgia” which is the psychological condition people who are constantly dealing with environmental change and trauma can develop and discussed how art responds to and can mitigate that condition. Our session generated many questions both during the panel and during the rest of the conference. The art+ environment 2014 conference program is available on www.nevadaart.org and

This will be the final Paruku Project blog, (I think!). I believe that have delivered our 5 stated outcomes, (see Paruku Project Blog 1), some more effectively than others, due to the ongoing flux in desert communities and Mulan in no greater part than any other. Those outcomes were

  • Taking the Walmajarri story about Paruku to Australia and the world, through the CSIRO book, the blog, the DVD, the exhibitions in Alice Springs and Nevada Museum of Art and creating an archive in safe keeping at the Center for Art+ Environment Nevada Museum of Art.
  • Raising the Mulan communities’ sense of self-esteem and providing some training opportunities and income through sales of artworks, royalties from the book and artists and cultural fees, thereby helping the art centre get on its feet.
  • Achieving demonstrable environmental outcomes through the feral horse programme and by highlighting the importance and value of Scientists working with Indigenous Owners in their Traditional Country to further desert knowledge.
  • Achieving greater national and international understanding of how global drivers are modifying Indigenous Traditional Owners’ connection to Country in the Tanami Desert.
  • Creating a model which can be used by other communities facing similar environmental challenges which might be addressed through environmental art projects.

IMG_2993We leave the project now for posterity not only as a major book, Desert Lake. Art, Science and Stories from Paruku but as the DVD of the same name and the Project Blog, www.mandy-martin.com. The full collection of Walmajarri paintings and print folio as well as works donated by David Taylor, David Leece and Mandy Martin, are now in the permanent collection of the Nevada Museum of Art and finally the archive of the Paruku Project is now held by the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art.

Many of you have become good friends and frequent correspondents and I thank you all for your ongoing involvement and interest and invaluable assistance.

Plans are afoot to take the model we developed at Paruku to Arnhemland and I hope to talk with those of you who are interested about this evolving scope and potential environmental art project in 2015.

With heartfelt thanks and good wishes, Mandy

General

Mandy Martin's Next Exhibition - Playing with fire

NOW OPEN at Australian Galleries (Roylston Street)MARTIN_EVITE_RS14_proof2 BUMM 2014 Conversations about the Night Parrot at Whistling Duck Creek. Installation shot Alexander Boynes 2014RNING DOWN THE HOUSE Human beings, even those who aren’t pyromaniacs, like to burn stuff. Straw effigies, old buildings, harvested fields, scraps of paper.We even put burning weeds in our mouths in order to strike up a flame, host a glowing ember within inches of our faces, and inhale the smoke.These behaviors are not entirely irrational. Burning a piece of meat allows us to extract more caloric value from it and may have helped increase the size of the human brain over evolutionary timescales.And burning land has been used by us as a hunting and farming tool for a very long time, indeed. One of the places that has helped us understand the role of burning in ecology—human social ecology as well as land management—is Australia. Which is one reason why Mandy Martin has been playing with fire for years....Click here to continue reading more from William L. Fox (Director, Center for Art + Environment Nevada Museum of Art 2014)   MARTIN_PR_RS14_proof2 SNEAK PEAK

General

The Anthropocene Slam: A Cabinet of Curiosities

  Trisha Carrol & Mandy Martin.  Ochres and binder on paper, 30 x 80cms

Mandy's next international event in Madison USA, presenting at:

The Anthropocene Slam: A Cabinet of Curiosities

November 8-10 2014

The Goanna, Varanus Varius, is the totem of Wiradjuri artist, Trisha Carroll and this work that we painted together tells the story of our valley and the waves of Anthropogenic extinction that have occurred from her ancestors who practised fire burning and continued as second settlers brought cattle and mining 200 years ago. It will continue, if we do not modify our rapacious demands on landscapes until the river dries up, the earth is fully depleted and the local ecosystems destroyed. Current plans are to flood this valley to drought proof the region and provide water for irrigation and the mining industry. It will give me water views from my studio and submerge Trisha’s house. How our government can contemplate building the first dam to be approved in four decades, in this rapidly escalating period of climate change is, mind boggling.

For more information click here

 

 

Jason deCaires Taylor's underwater sculpture "Anthropocene." Photograph by Jason deCaires Taylor.

The Anthropocene: The Promise and Pitfalls of an Epochal Idea

What would it mean to imagine Homo sapiens as not merely a historical but a geological actor, a force of such magnitude that our impacts are being written into the fossil record? What would it mean to acknowledge that, for the first time in Earth’s history, a sentient species, our own, has shaken Earth’s life systems with a profundity that paleontologistAnthony Barnosky has likened to an asteroid strike? How might that perceptual shift disturb widespread assumptions about human history, ethics, power, and responsibility? Click here to read on

General

The Rachel Carson Center at the Second World Congress of Environmental History

The RCC was out in force at the World Congress of Environmental History in Guimarães earlier this month, with RCC fellows, alumni, and staff represented in numerous sessions and events, many presenting in panels that were the result of collaborations started at the RCC. Perhaps the most notable RCC presence at this conference was the RCC Perspectives volume “The Edges of Environmental History,” published in February 2014 in English and in June 2014 in a Portuguese translation made by former RCC intern Filipa Soares. This volume celebrates the work of Jane Carruthers, the outgoing president of the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations, whose work has given the discipline a decisive voice both in South African and global contexts. The artwork for the volume was provided by the acclaimed Australian landscape painter and art activist Mandy Martin, who also delivered the keynote address in Guimarães.

For more information and to continue reading please click here

2014_cover_i1

The publication is available free online here in both Portuguese and English, and in print from the Rachel Carson Center.