Blue Mountains News

New Exhibition - Landscapes from the Anthropocene

By Braemar House
Posted: 17 Sep 2020
How good IS coal
Blue Mountains Art Exhibition to explore the Anthropocene

A compelling new art exhibition at Springwood’s Braemar Gallery will explore the concept of the Anthropocene: the proposed geological age which coincides with the start of significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems.

Landscapes from the Anthropocene — the exhibition by Dublin-born, Katoomba-based artist Martin Roberts — will officially open at the gallery on Thursday, 1 October.

Roberts, who moved to Australia in 2002, is noted for his six-year tenure as a costumier at the Sydney Theatre Company, and for his work on numerous film and theatre productions, including Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme on Broadway, the debut Australian production of Billy Elliott: The Musical and the cult Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale fantasy film, Reign of Fire.  

Known for his textile and mixed media artworks, Roberts moved to the Blue Mountains in 2014. In 2017, he completed a Masters of Art Therapy at Western Sydney University and now devotes himself full-time to art, working as both an artist and arts therapist.

Explaining the exhibition, Roberts said: “The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch during which human activity has become the dominant influence on the environment, ecosystems and the climate, to the extent that permanent changes will become visible in Earth’s geology for future generations to see.

“The pieces I'm doing for the exhibition are textile based, with layers of fabrics painted and stitched on, and with a variety of other mixed media. Found objects are added to create layers of images and textures, exploring how humans are impacting the climate and ecosystems.” 

He said climate change and the brutal summer of 2019/20 was a strong influence on the exhibition.

“I’ve been conceptualising the ideas for this exhibition for several years now, but have only been actually making the pieces since November and have found that our terrible summer of bushfires and the emerging realities of climate change have very much influenced the work,” said Roberts, who has previously exhibited at Sydney’s Gaffa Gallery, the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown and the University of Sydney’s Verve Gallery, among others. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions around crowds, there will be no on-site official opening, however the exhibition will have a virtual opening on YouTube, will be shared to the Robert’s website on Saturday, 3 October, as well as on Blue Mountains arts-related Facebook pages.

The video will feature a launch by Blue Mountains cultural animateur, sociologist, and policy analyst Barbara Lepani, who is the coordinator of the Wild Mountains Collective and member of the Management Committee of the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network.

While the launch will be virtual, the gallery will still open to the public for the works to be viewed in person.


Landscapes from the Anthropocene

Dates:
The exhibition will run at the gallery from Thursday, 1 October to Sunday, 25 October 2020.

Times:
Thursday to Sunday, 10am-4pm.

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