What Lies beneath
A group of artists respond to the possibility of Coal Seam Gas mining in the Southern Highlands. The exhibition and public symposium What Lies Beneath is conceived as a forum for expression and discussion of the issues surrounding CSG as well as coal mining in the local region. The artists Jenny Bell; Alison Clouston & Boyd; Margarita Georgiadis; George Gittoes; Pamela Griffith; Jasper Knight; Jon Lewis; Lucinda McDonald; Clare Milledge; Max Miller; Louise Owen and J.D Reforma, draw on personal experiences and understandings. Curated by Jane Cush, Director of the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery which has consistently presented shows on environmental issues. 20 November – 11 December 2013, Goulburn.
Leave it in the ground
Galvanised by the crisis in global warming caused by the fossil fuel industries, the Williams River Valley Artists’ Project with artists Neil Berecry Brown, Sue Callanan, Juliet Fowler Smith, Noelene Lucas, Christine McMillan, Ian Milliss, Margaret Roberts, Toni Warburton and David Watson created the powerful exhibition Leave it in the Ground, exhibited at Articulate Project Space, Sydney, November – 1 December 2013. See also David Watson’s online essay, “Power Walk with Me,” about his project titled FUSE.
Voices from Murujuga: Peter Hylands, director of Creative Cowboy films, offers eyewitness accounts of issues around the rock art of the Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) in short videos as well as writings. Hear artist Robin Churnside talking about her life there. On the beach:
Merilyn Fairskye is working on a new body of work about uranium mining including a short film Long Life 1. She writes: “Open Pit (2013) is from the Long Life series that depicts the environment in and around Ranger Uranium Mine. The mine has been operating on Mirarr country inside Kakadu National Park since 1980. The ore body in Pit 3 was mined out in late 2012. A vast amount of tailings – mining waste in the form of particularised sand – is stored in the pit.
Tailings remain radioactive for millions of years. Trucks are backfilling the pit with what will eventually amount to 30 million tonnes of unprocessed rock waste and the coarse fraction of tailings. Water and tailings management problems have plagued the mine regularly, especially in recent years.” Her work can be seen at Stills Gallery in Sydney. See image pp. 10–11 this issue.
The December campaign by 350.org, the worldwide movement to leave coal in the ground. According to new Oxford University research, the fossil fuel divestment movement is growing faster than any other divestment movement and poses major threats to the fossil fuel industry, particularly coal. In the last couple of years, it has received support from the likes of US President Barack Obama, the International Energy Agency, HSBC and Citi and has won commitments from 41 institutions including the cities of San Francisco and Seattle and Norway’s largest insurance company.
Oxford researchers compared fossil-fuel divestment with divestment campaigns against gambling, South African apartheid, tobacco, pornography and armaments. Whilst they found that the direct financial impact of divestment is small, they conclude that the reputational damage caused can mean massive financial damage to fossil fuel companies. Individuals can get advise from 350.org on ways to pressure their university, bank and super fund to stop funding fossil fuel expansion. Artlink is supporting Summer Heat and 350.org in association with this issue during December 2013.