Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours
Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic
How can contemporary art convey complex scientific ideas and information?
Humans have been a driving force behind climate change and extinctions for hundreds of
years. Since the first steps out of Africa man has been wreaking havoc upon the
environment. As technology advanced in the Industrial Revolution, populations boomed,
and consumption and demand went up. As a result we have been pillaging the natural world
with little thought of the future. Our throwaway society, with its convenience products, is
raising its head from the waters of our oceans and spilling onto our shores, as global
warming, pollution, species extinction and ocean acidification begin to show in every corner
of the world. The alarming facts that illuminate what is happening now and what is to come
are generally presented in scientific reports and in the media in numerical form, which can
alienate the individual. The numbers are so large that it seems impossible for one to make a
difference. I hope to challenge this idea and bring statistics to individuals, using art,
specifically sculpture, so an understanding and realisation may be reached.
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