Installation: Perth International Arts Festival / PIAF 2017

Fremantle Arts Centre / SPAN exhibition Feb 4 - Mar 26.

A new series of sculpted forms, films and drawings created by Andrew Sunley Smith to explore notions of Continual Combustion and Continuous Exhaustion and also highlight our anxieties concerning our relentless and aggressive consumption of fossil fuels.

In an extension of core ideas within his large scale internationally recognised and continuing Migratory Projects (Australia/Denmark/Scotland/Canada) involving the use of vehicle engines as a destructive force, this project focuses intimately on the issue of our continued use of fuel, oil and gas consumption and the growing presence of evidence around climate change and the continued defining of the anthropogenic epoch.

Radiators, coolers, dissipators, primary architectural constructs and engine references all form the basis of these totemic sentinels to our cultural and current ecological breakdown. These quietly violent works aim to create an iconography of exhausted forms.

‘If we can see our culture as an engine, it is the most direct and best metaphor we have. Engines constantly consume, burn and exhaust as they continually move forward. Our houses, buildings, cities, and circuits are all engines. There is still very little we do on a daily basis that does not involve burning or consuming fossil fuel and resources’.

The objects in this new series pull from both historical and contemporary domestic and industrial forms observed while in Scotland, North America and Canada recently. The works were crucially pushed further by witnessing the riots, destruction and civil unrest that erupted in light of the political and economic corruption that swept through the UK in 2011 where Sunley Smith witnessed and directly experienced the effects of cultural breakdown, xenophobia and its exponential paranoia first hand.

In an attempt to work more mindfully and in the interests of ‘treading lightly’ the initial works are notably produced ‘off-grid’ using only a small generator as power source.

Quietly brooding, disturbing and with somewhat of an intimidating presence these delicate hand crafted works, sculpted and rendered by controlled combustion are an embodiment of the breakdown of industrialized culture and a visualizing of our continued relentless consumption of fossil fuels and cultural entropy folding out on an international scale

This project was supported by the Australia Council For the Arts 2017 + the FAC artists Residency Program Co-ordinated by Bevan Honey.

Curated: Dr Ric Spencer

Film : Graham Mathwin

Photography: Paul Sutherland

Special Thanks to Daniel Egger and The Egger Family + Pegora NSW