Contextual LEVEL6

Artist Talk 2

GardenShip and State: Jeff Thomas, Patrick Mahon, Mark Kasumovic

From this talk I was particularly interested in Mark Kasumovic, all of his photographs shown were taken on conservation grounds. The first photo he showed was taken on one such conservation ground, it shows the inside of a bird watching hut, but from the hut you can see the heavy industry surrounding the hut intended to view nature. Although many birds probably do visit this are he sees it as a symbol of a place to slowly watch the world exhaust itself or a place to discuss the current environmental crisis.

He also talks about how he moved to an area near where there was an apocalyptic scene shot for the opening sequence for blade runner, which was associated with society collapsing, maybe due to industrialisation.

He began being interested in working with scientists to look at how artists and scientists represent the world and hoe sometimes the methodologies can be quite similar but have different output. He began to be interested In the subtle, quiet representation of things collapsing and falling apart. This can be beautiful and something we are drawn to. I myself find myself drawn to these things and is the basis for my work.

He says that to be successful these images showing effects of climate change have to be subtle but they also have to be romantic in order to be interesting. He shows images of land and roads falling back into the sea. Even as a child he says he was thinking about how even if we become extinct as humans the planet will move on, it doesn’t matter, everything will be okay. He spent time walking around looking at he landscape for subtle clues of strange occurrences, such as sand dunes occurring on the conservation grounds which are surrounded by heavy industry.

Part of what began my work currently was thinking about the downfall of people and what would happen if we vanished, and nature began to take back over, and in some work lately I have been using a combination of decaying human made structures and the plants growing from their ruins. This is a similar combining of nature and human life hinting to our downfall that Mark uses in his photographs. His phones also appear very quiet in a similar way to my paintings, which is something I continue to take forward with my work.

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