“Mackerel Sky” 2020 Peter Breen – Digital Print on 308gsm Hahnemühle Photo Rag from an original work with mixed media on non-archival encyclopaedia page paper.
A series of drawings and prints in a suburban art studio around climate change seems an almost pointless activist exercise if it is being used to add to world wide climate change conversation.Who will be seeing these drawings? I am passionate about this “10 More Harvests” Crisis and want to see a drastic change downwards in world emissions, conscious action to slow emissions by fossil fuel protagonists and a complete recalibration in the lifestyle of worldwide consumerism. Not much will be achieved by these works at the level that needs to be achieved but the work for me is an exercise in forced creative focus on the issue which will have some small exposure to other viewers and maybe collectors. The COVID-19 lockdown has provided extended studio time for the work to be completed.
Are the bees in the world dying? Is their potential demise a kind of canary in the coal mine metaphor? Who is acting here and will a few extra corporate rooftop office beehives save the world?
“Inotropic Insanity”2020 Peter Breen – Digital Print on 308gsm Hahnemühle Photo Rag from an original work with mixed media on non-archival encyclopaedia page paper.
This exhibition of drawings, relief lino-cut prints and sculptural works take these climate change subtext questions and the recent bushfires in Australia as entry points for reflection on our future. It is quite obvious that the corporate CEO’s of fossil fuel companies, right wing neo-liberal policies and right-wing-tabloid journalism run by the Murdoch empire have made the world a more dangerous place in this fight for environmental survival. I am however, encouraged greatly that a movement of artists and young people – aka Greta Thunberg – are now the only hope for change and change that will come. There are clearly new ventures in renewables world wide – while the environmental damage has been done and will continue to be done. Can we turn a nightmare into a new dawn of hope?
Part of my work for this exhibition has been inspired by two young female artists: Lucienne Rickard and Charlotte Watson. Both of these artists – Lucienne in Tasmania and Charlotte in Melbourne have applied their practice to highlighting the plight of the threat to and real time extinction of flora and fauna species. Lucienne has undertaken a huge 12month public project in the foyer of the Art Gallery of Tasmania of drawing and erasing images of threatened and extinct flora and fauna. To date she is half way through. In 2019, Charlotte initiated an Australia-wide art project around the plight of the black-throated finch under threat from the proposed Adani Coal Mine in the Galilee basin in Queensland. These and other young artists and my own grandchildren’s future continue to be the canary in the mine for me in my activism and art practice.
My work has grown out of series of blind contour journal entry sketches of Eastern Australia flora. The body of work is in two parts: the development of ink drawings and lino-cuts of the flora and rain events and a series of graphite and ink drawings and lino-cuts of bees.
Brush and ink drawings on non-archival ageing encyclopedia pages. #1Artist: Peter Breen 2020
Mixed media drawings on non-archival ageing encyclopedia pages.#1 Artist: Peter Breen 2020
Artists are the prophets, the seers and the interpreters of the state of play – of what has happened in our world historically and personally. We move beyond decoration – though not opposed to it – to a considered and best possible response. This is my intention for this exhibition of works on July 3 at Mayne Line Studios and Gallery,
May 29, 2020