Leave It in the Ground
Williams River Valley Artists’ Project (WRVAP) @ Articulate project space in Leichhardt (Sydney), November 2013.
In the face of irrefutable science which warns us daily about escalating climate change, NSW continues to draw more than 90% of its electricity from coal-and-gas-fired power stations, and Newcastle has become the world’s largest coal port. Australians are per capita the highest energy users on earth and our rapacious pursuit of ‘more’ flies in the face of good custodianship. By extracting and exporting fossil fuels on a gargantuan and unprecedented scale we are fouling not only our own nest but the entire biosphere.
Leave It in the Ground was a prescient 2013 foray by nine Australian contemporary artists perturbed by the fossil-fuel bind in which most of us (still) find ourselves. The show featured work by Neil Berecry-Brown, Sue Callanan, Noelene Lucas, Juliet Fowler Smith, Christine McMillan, Ian Milliss, Margaret Roberts, Toni Warburton and David Watson. Each artist also contributed words + images to The Stuttering Frog #2, our 20 pp newspaper/exhibition catalogue, alongside expert commentary by Sharyn Munro, Glenn Albrecht, Colin Imrie/Julia Mullins and Chris Ward. An overview of WRVAP’s first five years of environmental arts activism is on pp 4-5…
The Stuttering Frog #2 [WRVAP newspaper/catalogue]
Leave It in the Ground drew upon 2012-13 research residencies in regional New South Wales (Bylong, The Drip, Bulga) which enabled WRVAP artists to observe first-hand the crippling social and environmental impacts of coal mining and CSG extraction, and to meet members of the local community + front-line activists.
Although WRVAP is a collective and most of our research trips have been collaborative affairs, each of us continues to produce distinctly individual work (albeit encouraged/critiqued/enhanced by the group). Whilst this site focusses upon my individual output, it is important that these works be seen, too, as ‘ingredients’ within WRVAP’s broader visual-arts and environmental-activist ferment… williamsrivervalley.blogspot.com.au
See also Cry Me a River, Riparian Rites, Instruments of Democracy and While We Sleep under ‘Exhibitions’ on this page.