ART IN A CHANGING WORLD

Our world’s landscape is changing and so too are our attitudes and social rituals. Artists have always been inspired by the world around them. Even when the Modernists began to impart their own perspectives, the world’s voice remained ever strong. Art captures the hyperbole and emotions of the world, whether it is through the excited vision of the Sydney Moderns or the mystical and romantic charcoal drawings of Antarctica by Wendy Loefler. It is able to capture the primal nature of human existence as recently seen in Weathersounds at Alaska Projects, and to be reflective and examine the effect of our fast paced environments, changing technologies and media-centric lives. Artists such as Vicki Varvaressos, Alex Seton, Ian Strange, Johnny Romeo, Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro all depict varying critiques of the world, some with more venom than others, and they show a view of us from the perspective of the world itself.

Other artists  have explored the complex dialogues and narratives of people from different times and geographies such as Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Alfredo and Isabel Aquizilan, Rosalie Gascoigne and Ah Xian. What does it mean for one culture to coexist with another? How can one be defined by a particular culture? These are some of the questions that these artists ask the audience to consider.

The world of art does not exist in a bubble and is equally susceptible to greater forces as any other entity. Issues of globalisation are ever present within the art market as international art fairs increasingly gain a wider viewership. What does this mean for smaller nations and how they compete on a global scale? What responsibility should nations have for their own artists and culture in a world which values financial success above all. Institutions are similarly not immune from the influences of the world as they face growing pressure to engage new audiences within a changing social paradigm.

Do we embrace change or try to ignore it? Do we block our ears and stamp our feet in defiance? Or do we face change and work with its current?

Isaac Yeo