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Man-made impacts

Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021

Kathy Graham. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Kathy Graham. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Local artist Kathy Graham’s exhibition ‘Anthropocene’ illustrates human impact and the affects our activity is having on the environment. 

“Anthropocene is the name and the theme for the exhibition and Anthropocene is a term that’s been given to the current geological age,” said Kathy. 

“Technically speaking it hasn’t formally been adopted yet but it’s a term that is referred to the geological era that we’re in at the moment that’s actually been accelerated by human impact and by man’s activities on the earth. 

“We’re talking things like climate change and mass extinctions things like that that have been accelerated beyond normal, natural events because of human activity so that’s where the name and the theme comes from.”

Kathy wanted to do works that represented the juxtaposition of natural and man-made elements, being man’s impact on the environment. 

“Each work is made out of a base of clay which is obviously from the earth, it’s been altered so it will no longer break down so that’s going to remain behind like so many parts of man’s elements is just going to be left. 

“There’s a wire element there as well which has also obviously got longevity in its materials and it won’t break down.

“There’s a lot of materials and a lot of things in today’s world that’s creating a lot of issues for us because we are creating things that aren’t breaking down anymore.”

A lot of time and effort went into the making of these pieces from the clay to collecting supplies. 

“I wanted to have more but with each piece you have the clay, you’ve got to wedge the clay, prep it, fire, it, bisque it. 

“The majority of these pieces I did wood-firing with as well, which gives you that black sort of smoky effect. 

“I collected the grasses, the barks and some of them are actually man-produced materials like your raffia.

“Some of it’s out of my garden, some of it is from bushlands nearby, some of it’s from creek lines, some I just found lying around so it’s a bit of a combination. 

“Even the copper, a lot of the pieces have got copper in them to give it that wire element that I was trying to make sure was one of the materials that was going to last in it and they were all recycled stripped from old stereo wires and things like that.”

Kathy hopes people will visit and view not only her exhibition but all that are currently on display.

“We’ve been really really restricted in art exhibitions in the last 14 months so it’s good just to be able to have a wide variety of all the exhibitions that are here at the moment. 

“It’s something different, it’s local and hopefully it’s going to encourage a bit of thought process around the way we interact with our environment.

“That the take away I would like them to take, just if they stop and think of overtime they do something or throw something out or buy something, what impact is that going to have in ten, 20, 30 years down the track is it still going to be here?” 

This exhibition can be viewed at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery up until Sunday, April 25 from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. 

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