Can art make a difference? What do you think? I mentioned the upcoming conference in Trinity College – “Art in the Anthropocene” – but I didn’t I mention that I was invited to show my work in a group exhibition as part of that conference.
The artists involved in this show will be: Dorothy Cross, Mark Dion, Cathy Fitzgerald, Yvanna Greene, Steve Hurrel, Imelda Healy (curator), Ruth Le Gear, Siobhán McDonald, Helen O’Shea and myself.
There will be some short films, two sound pieces – ‘Seismic Sounds’ from Steve Hurrel and ‘Shark’, a BBC recording of Dorothy Cross – and there is also a marine installation at the Science centre.
Ok, so ‘the Anthropocene’ is the term for the era (these days) when exponentially expanding human development is destroying the very foundations of life on our planet. The term was first used in the 19th century by John Ruskin, the Victorian art teacher and critic, who also had strong views on the environmental impact of industrialisation.
Well, if you thought that the Industrial Revolution was bad, it was little more than a puff of smoke when compared to the perfect storm that’s heading our way these days – the extreme weather conditions, the mass extinction of species, the plastics in the ocean, the sinister loss of our bees…
But, not to wallow in too much negativity, this conference will be seeking ways forward through all of this, with many thoughtful papers including: “Goodbye to the Anthropocene and Hello Symbiocene” by Cathy Fitzgerald (who also will be participating in the exhibition).
The exhibition, curated by Imelda Healy, will run from the 7th to the 9th of June. People are beginning to engage with the story now, as evidenced by the surge in the Green vote last week. What part had artists to play in this, I’m not really sure – but at least, they try… Any comments?