Crumbling Ecologies Project

A few weeks back I headed over to the east side to take part in the Crumbling Ecologies Project. Crumbling Ecologies is a project by artist Jasmine Targett. I spent a couple hours on Saturday afternoon dipping geraniums in ceramic slip. It was quite a relaxing experience, but you might ask why? Here’s an excerpt from Jasmine explaining the project.

The Crumbling Ecologies Project interrogates the impact of the economic climate on both environmental conservation and arts education in Melbourne. In times of economic crisis both art and conservation funding is cut, raising questions on their value to culture and society. The exhibition critically addresses how the economic climate has affected the infrastructures that support artistic practice in Melbourne, commenting on how the culture of learning is changing.

A response to the ongoing threatened closure of a number media specific courses across Victoria, the works examine the relevancy of these materials within contemporary arts practice and the impact the loss of educators will have on Melbourne’s artistic culture.

The themes backing up Crumbling Ecologies resonated with me. I’ve seen a similar winding back of technical education in the industrial trades and arts. There’s been attempts to segment and decontextualise skills into narrow job specific chunks, which then has the effect of removing the knowledge of where these chunks sit and relate within a broader skill base.

The culmination of Crumbling Ecologies will be an exhibition at Craft Victoria from April 26th – June 9th 2012.

The exhibition will be centred on installation of thousands of hand made geranium leaves made by the effected artists. Upon closer inspection the geranium leaves appear on the brink of crumbling, embodying the story of their makers. Viewers will be invited to take a leaf for free or pay what you think it is worth.