Exhibiting for Environment Day

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THINK.EAT.SAVE WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 5 JUNE

WA’S artistic community has come out in support of the Wilderness Society’s David and Goliath battle with the WA government over the dumped (for now)gas hub at James Price Point in the far north.

More than 35 well-known artists are donating paintings, sculptures and ceramics for a silent auction to help fund a Supreme Court case against the state’s environmental watchdog the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of the project.

A five-member panel set up to assess the gas hub was reduced to just one—the head of the EPA—after declarations of interest from the rest.

The list of artists includes internationally painters Roger Swainston and Larry Mitchell and ceramicist Pippin Drysdale along with Tasmania’s Annette Van Betlehem and French-born Mathilde Bernard,

John Butler is best known for his music but the South Freo muso is a dab hand at drawing, especially for a cause close to his heart. Construction mogul Len Buckeridge’s daughter is also getting in on the act, donating a stunning handmade dress for auction.

The artists, sculptors, animators and photographers have one thing in common, they are passionate about WA’s amazing, natural coastline and its oceans, Larry Mitchell says.

Artists are drawn to “spiritual” places like James Price Point: “[Which is why] there’s a lot of empathy from the visual artist for environmental concerns,” he explains.

The Spearwood local has devoted a lifetime of art to highlighting WA’s coastal beauty, and is working on a huge project detailing Indian Ocean islands under threat from “global warming” and “globalisation”, including mining. Some inhabitants have barely brushed up against modern society, but face losing their homes because of the actions of wealthy nations, Mitchell says, adding the results of his work will be archived in a US museum.

Like many of the artists his work is held in private collections around the world, and sell for up to $50,000.

But there’s no reserve on the piece he’s donated to Making Waves for the Kimberley.

“I’d rather it sells for what they can get.”

The exhibition is on World Oceans Day, June 8, three days after World Environment Day.

The Wilderness Society would normally have done something for WED too, but is tied up with the court case, staffer Sarah Vann-Sander explained.

Making Waves for the Kimberley is an evening of art, flamenco guitar, drinks and celebration—with guest speaker former WA premier Carmen Lawrence, now chair of the Australian Heritage Council.

It’s Saturday June 8, 6pm, at Spacecubed, 45 St George’s Terrace, Perth.

Tickets to wilderness.org.au/campaigns/kimberley/makingwaves but you’ll need to be quick—the first release has sold out.

by JENNY D’ANGER

 

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