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Dire Exhibition. Art and Science On Land, Rivers and Sea.

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
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And Fibonacci explained
Dire is the fourth art exhibition in a series which invites artists to interpret both threats to, and the beauty of, South Australian coastlines and waterways.

The first exhibition, held at Gallery M in Marion, in March 2012, sprang from the desire of an environmental activist group, Save Our Gulf Coalition (SOGC), to educate the public through art. At that time, the group aimed to raise awareness of the threat posed by South Australia's desalination plant, on the Gulf St Vincent and the Spencer Gulf. The project was declared a success when over ninety artists presented paintings, collage, textiles, photography, sculptures, ceramics, glasswork and jewellery to a wide and receptive audience.

Camp Coorong Women artists
Wall hanging by Camp Coorong Women artists depicting environmental deterioration following arrival of first Europeans

Comment piece
A comment piece from the first exhibition

June 2013 saw a second successful exhibition held at Port Noarlunga Arts Centre. In April of that year South Australia had experienced a massive fish kill with millions of small fish washing ashore on SA beaches. Over forty participating artists, once again, engaged the community and helped raise awareness of our troubled coastline.

Jewellery pieces were included in the exhibitions

By 2014 SOGC was disbanded, however a third exhibition was arranged under the auspices of the Marine Life Society of South Australia (MLSSA). 'Sand, Sea and Obscenity' was held, once again, at Port Noarlunga Arts Centre during November, and included artwork by Aboriginal artists from Ceduna.

A wide range of interpretations
A wide range of interpretations

Organisers of each event, Ruth Trigg and Corrie Vanderhoek, are two of the directors at The Centre for Culture, Land and Sea (CCLS). In keeping with the philosophy and beliefs of aforementioned groups, CCLS was formed to encourage people to challenge dominant thinking and practices that threaten the living earth and oceans.

Ruth and Corrie are coordinating the fourth exhibition, Dire, under the banner of CCLS. Now a bi-annual event, this exhibition will take place at the South Coast Regional Arts Centre (popularly known as The Old Goolwa Police Station) in Goolwa.

Gilbert Dashorst
Artist Gilbert Dashorst used sump oil in his painting

The theme for Dire has been expanded to encompass lands, rivers and lakes as well as coastal and marine environments. Workshops leading up to the exhibition, have been arranged to educate and inspire participating artists.

I recently spent time with one of the participating artists, Sally Deans, who enthusiastically shared the inspiration she had gained from a workshop in Victor Harbor and Port Elliot. The workshop was conducted by coastal and environmental geologist, Dr Ian Dyson, who focussed his discussion on beaches and sand movement.

Workshop at Victor Harbor and Port Elliot
Workshop at Victor Harbor and Port Elliot

Sally explained The Fibonacci Spiral and numbering system. This system appears everywhere in nature; in leaf and petal arrangements, in the bracts of a pinecone and the scales of a pineapple. The Fibonacci numbers are applicable to the growth of every living thing, from single cells to all of mankind.

Fibonacci Spiral
Fibonacci Spiral. Image from Wikipedia.

From Ian's workshop, Sally learned that Fibonacci numbers are evident in marine life, from starfish and sand dollars to dolphins and even in beaches themselves. Port Elliot's Horseshoe Bay is an example of a perfectly formed, and, thankfully, still well functioning Fibonacci Spiral.

You may just see Fibonacci evidence in some of Sally's pieces in the upcoming Dire exhibition.

Dire will run from June 23 July 24.

Sally Deans works in progress
Works in progress at Sally Deans' studio

You can become a member of CCLS by observing, supporting, and/or contributing to centre projects. Contact Corrie Vanderhoek on 0439865058 for more information.
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Why? Beautiful art with an important message
When: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 11am-4pm Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
Phone: Goolwa Visitor Info Centre 1300 466 592
Where: South Coast Regional Art Centre (Old Goolwa Police Station)
Cost: Free
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