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Catherine Phillips MFA Exhibition


Masters of Fine Arts student exhibition

Start Date

Dec 11, 2018 5:30 pm

End Date

Dec 11, 2018 7:00 pm


Academy Gallery, Inveresk

Image credit: Catherine Phillips, Uncharted Territory series (detail), 2018.

Exhibition opening: 5.30 – 7.00pm Tuesday 11 December, 2018

Affect and the Anthropocene: The art artefact and ecological grief

The Anthropocene epoch, although as yet not officially ratified, is widely understood to mark an era in which human actions have significantly impacted the planet. It proclaims ‘a new cultural and physical space that has not previously been experienced’ (Robin & Muir 2015) and as such requires a rapid paradigm shift. The project Affect and the Anthropocene: The Art Artefact and Ecological Grief addresses some of the questions emerging from these new spaces with particular focus on climate change induced experiences of ‘ecological grief’ (Cunsolo & Ellis 2018, p.275) and ‘solastalgia’ (Albrecht et al. 2007, p. S95). The project actively engages with process as a significant metaphor, drawing on forms of material agency, considering the impact of human intervention and its limits, the entangled state of human, nature and object and the juxtaposition of human culpability and vulnerability in this contested era. Visually these qualities are evoked through landscape-oriented paintings and sculptures which draw on personal imaginings and real-life events to undermine the narrative of human control and express a sense of turmoil. precarity, dystopian futures, futility and loss. Material processes utilised in the research suggest ideas of threat and uncertainty, the competing narratives of control and agency, and explore a psychological and a speculative biological re-ordering of the relationship between humans and nature in response to momentous threat. The question as to the role the art artefact and the process of its creation plays in expressing emotion and acknowledging, legitimising and making sense of human fears of powerlessness and futility in an era characterised by slow violence, uncertainty and loss of control is addressed visually and theoretically through this research.

Image credit: Catherine Phillips, Uncharted Territory series (detail), 2018.

Academy Gallery
*Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm
School of Creative Arts
Academy of the Arts, Inveresk, Launceston
University of Tasmania

Free Admission

University Art Museums Australia

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