There is little doubt that the planet is in trouble. With the onset of global warming, rising sea levels, overfishing, coral bleaching and the enormous amounts of waste generated by Australians every year, the need to take action – or at the very least become more informed – grows daily.
This year’s Brunswick Nature Sculpture Walk (BNSW) aims to raise awareness of environmental issues in a completely holistic manner; via its actual sculptures, the materials used, and the setting of the exhibition itself.
All of the participating artists have created sculptures from recycled or re-useable materials that reflect themes of the environment, drawing attention to issues surrounding current ecological issues or highlighting the need for us to conserve, reuse and recycle, rather than continue to live in such a disposable society.
“We’ve destroyed the world with plastics – especially in the ocean. Both the Brunswick Nature Sculpture Walk and my sculptures are really relevant in bringing attention to these environmental issues,” says exhibiting artist Lynne Adams.
Lynne has created a life-like fish sculpture using leftover plastic bottles and bags to make the body and scales. Lynne says she has thousands of recycled plastic bottles stored at friend’s places around the Shire and was initially inspired to work with plastics when she noticed her own collection of bottles building up.
“I was horrified at the amount of bottles I had lying around and decided to cut them up and create something new,” she said.
“I love the fact my sculptures breathe life into unwanted things however, in saying that people need to question where their waste goes and encourage each other to find solutions. It’s our waste and we need to be responsible for our own actions,” she said.
A range of masterclasses and hands-on workshops will also be held during the event. Combining themes of recycling, the environment, conservation and sculpture, the workshops – run at the Tweed Regional Gallery and onsite at the BNSW – will teach participants a range of art techniques and skills, such as weaving, making art from recyclable materials and creating ephemeral art toolboxes.
Artist Shona Wilson is running a workshop entitled Collaboration with Nature, a land art workshop in which participants can only use what is found on site on the day to create a piece – and here’s the kicker – without tools.
“It’s really about engaging with what’s given to us in a surprising and resourceful but fun way,” Shona explains.
“These workshops are about bridging art and nature,” she continues. “It’s about finding an intimacy with the natural world around us. Hopefully from that, a state of mindfulness or presence will occur as well as the creativity party of it and the sustainability aspects too. We leave behind what we make and only take photographs away.”
And for those who may be concerned at creating something amazing under those circumstances, Shona says it’s really nothing to worry about.
“People always surprise me with what they come up with. Everyone is so unique in the way they respond to a place and the materials… The pressure is off in terms of creating a beautiful artwork. It’s a process-based experience.”
The Brunswick Nature Sculpture Walk is a free event in Brunswick Heads that runs from 28 September to 2 October. Visit brunswicknaturesculpturewalk.com for more.